The House of Commons has produced a briefing note outlining the
origins and structures of combined authorities, which will handle
many of the 'devolution deals' agreed between the government and
local areas in England.
The briefing note, published on 20 January, may provide a useful
guide and background paper for members, officers and tenants of
those stock retained councils involved in devolution deals.
Combined authorities are a legal structure that may be set up by
local authorities in England. They can be set up with or without a
directly-elected mayor. The relevant legislation is theLocal
Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, plus
theCities and Local Government Devolution Bill, expected to receive
Royal Assent in 2016.
Combined authorities may be set up by two or more local
authorities. They may take on statutory functions transferred to
them by an Order made by the Secretary of State, plus any functions
that the constituent authorities agree to share.
The first combined authority to be established was the Greater
Manchester Combined Authority in 2011. Further combined authorities
were established in the North-East, West Yorkshire, Sheffield and
Liverpool in April 2014.
In 2014-16, the government negotiated 'devolution deals' with
several areas. Each of the existing combined authorities has
negotiated a deal. New mayoral combined authorities have been
proposed in the Tees Valley, West Midlands, and (in draft form) the
'North Midlands' (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire). Liverpool,
Greater Manchester, Sheffield and the North-East will introduce a
directly-elected mayor as part of their devolution deal.
Orders establishing these devolution deals are anticipated when
theCities and Local Government Devolution Billreceives Royal
View the briefing paper.