Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Give Us What We Need to Make Devo Work, George ; M.E.N. Comment

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Give Us What We Need to Make Devo Work, George ; M.E.N. Comment

Article excerpt

NEWSPAPERS and websites across the region come together today to demand a fair devolution deal for Greater Manchester.

The day after George Osborne addressed the Tory conference in Manchester, our unprecedented joint campaign calls for: ? Pounds 7bn more in devolution - including the health cash we so desperately need; ? Fair police and council funding; ? N? Northern transport projects to be put first; ? An accountable, open system of governance.

For the first time, the M.E.N. has teamed up with the Bolton News, Wigan Evening Post and Oldham Evening Chronicle - as well as their sister titles - to take a united stance on the most sweeping changes to our region in generations.

We believe devolution is right for Greater Manchester. As a region, we know better than Whitehall what works for us. But first we need a fair deal to go with it. That means government providing the cash we need to get our devolved healthcare system off the ground so we can start to cut the scandalous mortality rates suffered by our people. It is literally a matter of life and death.

Greater Manchester's leaders have asked Mr Osborne for just under Pounds 1bn to do this. We back this demand.

We also back their call for a further Pounds 6bn in further devolution to help us expand the Metrolink network, create jobs and take more powers over skills, council tax, stamp duty and air passenger duty.

But fair devolution also means giving individual town halls - the bodies that safeguard our most vulnerable children and elderly and who shelter the homeless and fund our libraries - a fair deal.

Over the past five years, our deprived communities have seen council funding hacked back at up to 26 times the scale of wealthy communities elsewhere.

Yesterday, the chancellor announced the most radical shake-up in council funding since the poll tax was scrapped. But the details are unclear. …

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