Devo Manc not just for the city

Lisa Nandy MP
Lisa Nandy MP

LABOUR MPs have urged those implementing Greater Manchester’s devolution deal to ensure it benefits each local authority and not just the city centre.

Lisa Nandy told the Evening Post Wigan’s local needs must be respected, echoing comments made by colleague Simon Danczuk about Rochdale.

A decision on who will be the region’s interim mayor will be made later this week with borough council leader Lord Smith one of two candidates.

At recent council meetings, Lord Smith has outlined how Devo Manc will be of benefit to Wigan in a number of areas.

Ms Nandy said: “Simply moving power from London to Manchester would waste a golden opportunity to give us more control over the decisions that affect us here in Wigan.

“Working with Greater Manchester on areas like transport brings real benefits to Wigan, but devolution must also ensure our local needs are respected.

“Whenever decisions can be taken by local people they should be. People in Wigan know better than anyone the challenges we face, and how to unlock the talent in our town.”

Mr Danczuk MP, who represents Rochdale, one of 10 local authorities making up the Greater Manchester area, said “trickle-down economics is a failed model” and the devolution drive seems to be focused on cities.

He has also called for the GM mayor to be based outside the city.

Mayoral candidates Lord Smith and police and crime commissioner Tony Lloyd will find out on Friday who will lead Greater Manchester through to 2017 when elections for the full role will take place.

In December, Lord Smith said the devolution deal will support Wigan’s “growth ambitions”. Meaning improved transport links, an acceleration of a new homes plan and easier access to skills and training for residents.