Council bosses to meet in Stratford over east London devolution plans

Sir Robin Wales

Sir Robin Wales - Credit: Newham Council

Nine borough bosses, including Sir Robin Wales, will meet later this month to discuss how more power can be devolved to east London.

In an email to councillors seen by the Recorder, the leader of neighbouring Havering Council, Cllr Roger Ramsey, revealed the authorities are targeting powers over transport, business growth, education, housing, health and social care and employment.

Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest will join Sir Robin and Cllr Ramsey at Stratford Town Hall on January 31.

Sir Robin confirmed the meeting would take place and said the council was seeking “transformative change” and was “committed to transforming our residents’ life chances and harnessing the potential of the area for their benefit”.

He added: “We support the calls of councils across England for greater devolution and will also be working in partnership with other local boroughs across the political spectrum to shape this agenda.

“The Future of East and North East London Conference on 31 January, which also marks the 50th anniversary year of the London Boroughs, will emphasise our joint commitment to achieving socio economic convergence with the rest of London and help to deliver a road map for transformative change.”

Cllr Ramsey’s email reveals plans to “explore the issue of devolution of greater powers to the region” which builds on the deal recently struck by Greater Manchester.

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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.

Cllr Ramsey stated west London boroughs have had similar discussions through the West London Alliance.

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