Councils agree to £1bn devolution deal without North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 21:59 29 June 2016 | UPDATED: 22:05 29 June 2016

Archant

Three councils in the West of England have tonight (Wednesday) agreed to a £1billion devolution deal which was rejected by North Somerset earlier this month.

The decision will be made at the Town Hall.The decision will be made at the Town Hall.

Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bristol City Councils have all agreed to sign up to the Government’s deal for a West of England City Region.

The area will be run by a metro mayor, and have powers over transport, housing, adult education and infrastructure.

It will also receive £30million a year for 30 years.

Councillors said the deal was ‘imperfect’ and questioned whether it would be possible to renegotiate the metro mayor element.

But, unlike North Somerset Council which rejected the deal earlier this month, the other councils decided the benefits outweighed the problems they had with the mayor element.

North Somerset’s leader Nigel Ashton had spoken to other council leaders in the hope of encouraging them to try to renegotiate the deal.

But the councils have voted in favour of the plans this evening.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, deputy leader of North Somerset, said he watched the Bath and North East Somerset debate, and had ‘no regrets’.

* Pick up a copy of the Weston Mercury next week for reaction to the deal.

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