Residents have had the opportunity to have their say on the creation of a new West of England Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) and a £1 billion pound devolution deal put on the table by the Government.
Responses were received from across public, business, education and voluntary sectors – with the majority of people expressing overall support for the deal. Feedback was sought on four key areas of the proposed devolution deal: Decision making, Place (transport and housing), People (adult education and skills), and Business.
From the 2,011 responses received across the region; 1,109 (55 per cent) said that, on balance, they believe that a West of England Mayoral Combined Authority would benefit the West of England region. 674 (34 per cent) said that they did not agree, 176 (9 per cent) said that they did not know. 52 respondents (2 per cent) did not answer. Details have been published on the West of England Devolution site www.westofenglanddevolution.co.uk
The public responded both online, on paper and in some cases directly to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Information and surveys were made available through local libraries, and One Stop Shops, as well as via parish councils and community facilities.
Together, the three councils will submit a joint consultation report to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The Secretary of State will review the findings of this consultation alongside the Strategic Governance Review, the proposed Governance Scheme and any other representations that have been made directly.
Cllr Matthew Riddle, Leader of South Gloucestershire Council, said: “I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who took the time to respond to the devolution consultation. Overall, the majority of people who responded to the survey in South Gloucestershire said they thought that a West of England Mayoral Combined Authority would benefit the region.
“The next step will be for the Secretary of State to consider the results before deciding whether the deal goes ahead. Finally each council will be asked to endorse his decision and all three authorities will come to a balanced view about what will be best for their areas in the autumn.”
If it is agreed that the MCA should go ahead, it would be established in the first part of 2017, with elections for the position of West of England Mayor to take place across all three local government areas – Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire – in May 2017.