Exclusive: Council bosses to meet over east London devolution plans

Cllr Roger Ramsey

Cllr Roger Ramsey - Credit: Archant

Devolution to east London will be discussed by nine borough bosses later this month, according to the leader of Havering Council.

In an email circulated around the town hall, and leaked to the Recorder, Cllr Roger Ramsey revealed the authorities are targeting powers over transport, business growth, education, housing, health and social care and employment.

Representatives from Barking & Dagenham, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest will join Cllr Ramsey at Stratford Town Hall on Saturday 31.

His email states they will “explore the issue of devolution of greater powers to the region, building on the deal just struck by Greater Manchester.”

In November, Chancellor George Osborne announced the northern county would be given devolved powers over transport, housing, planning and policing to the tune of £1bn, as well as a directly-elected mayor.

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The prospect of an east London mayor is less likely, according to Havering’s deputy leader, Cllr Damian White.

He explained plans were drawn up after the elections in May, when leaders commissioned a London Councils report into devolution.

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“The meeting will be nine boroughs talking about what type of provision and organising we can do ourselves,” he said.

Cllr Ramsey, who was unavailable for comment today, explained in his email that he would attend the meeting “to explore the relevance, potential advantages and implications” for Havering.

He also states west London boroughs are believed to be targeting devolution and have had similar discussions through the West London Alliance.

The Department for Communities and Local Government have not commented on the meeting.

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