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Statement from Councillor Richard Farnell on the devolution settlement for Greater Manchester

Press release   •   Nov 03, 2014 11:40 GMT

Following the official signing of the proposal at Manchester Town Hall with the leaders of all ten Greater Manchester authorities and Chancellor George Osborne, Councillor Richard Farnell, Leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “The most important thing today is not whether Greater Manchester gets an elected Mayor; it is about changing the lives of the people in this region and improving prosperity.

“Whitehall currently spends vast sums of money in this region but because it is far too remote it does it very badly.

 “We want to seize control from the faceless beaurocrats and make sure these vast resources are spent much more effectively to the benefit of every single resident.

“Decisions taken locally are always much better decisions.

“This is not about Rochdale giving up its own powers - it is about Rochdale playing its part in the regional Combined Authority which will now have a much greater say in how key decisions are made.

“Our prosperity is entwined with the prosperity of the wider Greater Manchester. By working together and pooling resources we gain far greater clout and can make a massive shift to improve the fortunes of every resident.

“Devolved powers would enable us to change people’s lives with control over skills and education and a more joined-up approach to health provision working more closely with Health Authorities and the communities to improve people’s lives.

“We can vastly improve public transport by having the resources and the powers to make decisions that best suits the region’s needs.

“An elected Mayor would be elected by all the people of Greater Manchester, everyone would get a say, and they would work in partnership with the leaders of the ten local authorities.

“There is a lot more work to be done over the coming weeks and months but this is a very significant moment and we should be proud that Greater Manchester is leading the way.”

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