Manchester City Region is to receive new powers from Whitehall to work more effectively on significant issues including transport, regeneration and economic development.
Ministers have agreed plans to create the Greater Manchester Combined Authority – the first of its type in the country.
The Combined Authority complements the recent announcement of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and will ensure a coordinated approach is delivered in the 10 local authorities that make up the Manchester City Region. It will take effect from 1 April 2011.
Under the new arrangements a new body – Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) – will also be established. TfGM will assume responsibility for delivering transport across Manchester City Region.
Lord Peter Smith, chair of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), said: “The creation of the new Greater Manchester Combined Authority means that we will have more control locally over issues that affect us all including transport, housing, economic development, skills and job creation.
“In the current economic climate it is more important than ever that the region speaks with one voice so we can make the strongest possible case for resources and investment.
“The Combined Authority will also give us the robust governance arrangements which are needed to drive private sector growth. We will also be empowered to plan in a coordinated way to deliver that growth.
“The announcement also keeps Greater Manchester at the forefront of change, which is important if we are to rebalance the economy and ensure that not just the Manchester City Region, but the entire North of England achieves its full potential.”
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority will not replace the 10 local authorities, but will comprise one member from each and takes the work AGMA has achieved to the next level.