Council bosses to meet over east London devolution plans today

Sir Robin Wales

Sir Robin Wales - Credit: Newham Council

Devolution to east London is set to be discussed by nine borough bosses including Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales today.

Representatives from Havering, Redbridge, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest will meet at Stratford Town Hall.

In an e-mail to councillors at the end of December, the leader of Havering Cllr Roger Ramsey revealed the authorities are targeting powers over transport, business growth, education, housing, health and social care and employment.

His e-mail states they will “explore the issue of devolution of greater powers to the region, building on the deal just struck by Greater Manchester”.

In November, chancellor George Osborne announced the northern county would be given devolved powers over transport, housing, planning and policing to the tune of £1billion, as well as a directly-elected mayor.

The prospect of an east London mayor is less likely, according to Havering’s deputy leader, Cllr Damian White.

He explained plans were drawn up after the elections in May, when leaders commissioned a London Councils report into devolution.

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“The meeting will be nine boroughs talking about what type of provision and organising we can do ourselves,” he said.

He also stated west London boroughs are believed to be targeting devolution and have had similar discussions through the West London Alliance.

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