Working group to explore devolution deal for Cheshire


A cross-party working group to explore devolution proposals for Cheshire is to be set up by the Leader of Cheshire East Council, Councillor Rachel Bailey.

The Council would then hope to develop discussion with Cheshire West and Chester Council with a view to creating debate around devolved powers for Cheshire along similar lines to the Northern Powerhouse, championed by former Chancellor and Tatton MP George Osborne.

Leader of Cheshire East Council, Rachel Bailey said: "We have strong and successful partnerships with our neighbouring authorities and this joint working will continue.

"However, I want to secure the right deal to deliver our ambitious growth plans in Cheshire East.

"This is why I am establishing a cross party working group within Cheshire East to work with me on developing the best possible case.

"This has the support of the Conservative group and full Council.

"The working group's objective will be to enable an understanding to shape what devo could mean for the borough.

"In addition, I would like us to have more powers over things such as large scale infrastructure projects, public transport, skills and health services provided to our residents.

"I believe that these are the right areas to focus on if we are going to secure economic prosperity for all our residents and protect and enhance the quality of place we have within Cheshire East."

Cheshire East Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Terry Roeves
Thursday 27th October 2016 at 7:35 am
If George Osborne etc had believed that CEC and CWC will strengthen the Northern Powerhouse, he surely would have included them.
A possibility for the north of CE is that it is ceded to GMC. Would Wilmslow quality of life improve? We must surely get some money from the airport owners (66% GM councils) for the part of the airport within the boundary. We get nothing currently.
Be good for WTC to have a decent sum to spend annually. Then they can better sustain our infrastructure eg lighting, roads, pavements.
With a small multi skilled task force they would work wonders. Well worth rooting for Cllrs. I'd go for it, if I were you. Power then would really be devolved.
Toni Fox
Thursday 27th October 2016 at 12:53 pm
Devolution has not been considered at Full Council, nor has it been approved, therefore the claim by the Leader that it has this support is erroneous.

In light of the Conservative Party last week sacking its own Chairman and Vice Chairman from audit and scrutiny committees seemingly for making recommendations to make the Council more open and transparent I would suggest that it has significant improvements to make to get its own house in order before considering devolving powers even further away from residents and councillors.

Councillor Toni Fox
Dean Row Ward
Stuart Redgard
Friday 28th October 2016 at 5:34 am
This reminds me of the statements made about the savings and efficiencies to be made when the proposals to scrap Cheshire County Council and create CEC and CWAC Unitary councils were being proposed.

Since them in CEC alone we have had.

1) Lyme Green

2) CoSocius Ltd

3) 2 or it is 3 complete restructures of the Council Senior Management Team.

4) Three Chief Executive Offices

5) Three Leaders of the Council. (One of whom may be being investigated for misconduct in a public office)

6) I have lost count of the number of Monitoring Officers (Director of Legal Services)

And ................... ?
Pete Taylor
Friday 28th October 2016 at 8:59 am
Surely the sensible thing to do is a complete u-turn and re-unite Cheshire East and West?
The experiment has failed on every front.

At a time when other Councils are taking back in-house services which they outsourced, CEC seem to be determined to get ever deeper into the mire.

Their attempt to beat the Big Six energy providers is now looking rather perilous as wholesale prices start to rise.
Rick Andrews
Friday 28th October 2016 at 10:23 am
Council leader inventing support that has not even been discussed. (Thank you Toni Fox for making this clear) Surely the CEC leader must issue a statement to explain her error - or is this yet another example of delusion. All councillors should realise that they are the electorate's representatives, and cannot act on personal whims. We are now funding a working group that no-one asked for. Gross incompetence and in a real business would result in being disciplined or fired. Lunacy.