Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales believes more power should be devolved to local government

PUBLISHED: 10:03 18 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:03 18 February 2015

Sir Robin Wales

Sir Robin Wales

Newham Council

Newham hosted a groundbreaking conference last week which saw nine London boroughs coming together, to explore how powers could be devolved from central government to a more local level.

I strongly believe devolving power in this way can bring additional benefits for residents and help us to realise the full economic potential of our area.

Devolution is topical right now across the UK, following the Scottish referendum and the recent settlement for Greater Manchester. More than 120 elected councillors and senior officers attended the event, titled Local London: Driving Growth through Devolution, demonstrating there is a shared desire for change.

The nine boroughs that gathered in Old Town Hall Stratford on Friday have a combined population of 2.5 million, bigger than any other city outside of London, and are home to major economic hubs and sites of massive regeneration.

Our own successful Workplace job brokerage scheme, is an example of how devolution could work. The initiative is delivered locally with officers working closely with both Newham employers and national organisations to ensure local residents benefit from opportunities available. Workplace helps more than 4,500 into employment every year.

The conference saw the participating boroughs cross political lines to come together and begin to build a case that we can take to central government, the Mayor of London and prospective mayoral candidates. Topics included housing, employment and education. Our ultimate goal is for more powers to de devolved to our sub-region so we have the levers we need to make a real difference

With the signing of a Statement of Intent, I along with eight other directly elected mayors and leaders have agreed to work together, to help build a better deal for all our residents and unlock London’s full economic potential.

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