In response to the Chancellor’s West of England devolution announcement, the Leader of Bristol’s Labour Councillors, Helen Holland said: “This is potentially very exciting news for the whole of the Bristol city-region area, giving us access to funding that could mean real progress on building the twenty-first century infrastructure we so desperately need.
“The announcement is testament to the work that has gone on over many years, building relationships across the four authorities. However, we are concerned that the Chancellor wants to impose a metro Mayor on the region. It should be up to local people what democratic arrangements we choose.
“Promises of passing power down the M4 from London to the West of England will only work though if local people feel more engaged in decision-making, and that new arrangements are transparent and accountable.
“Each of the four local authorities will have to agree these new arrangements at their Council meetings in June, and we will do all we can to ensure that debate is as wide as possible, giving everyone the chance to influence the future of our area for the next twenty years.”