Chris Green MP: ​Is any part of devolution working?

​Devolution is a problem that never really grabs the headlines but is often in the small print of failure.
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When we look at all the problems we face, we will often find that the failings of devolution are strongly entwined but barely understood or communicated by the media.

Health and social care devolution came to the Greater Manchester administrative area many years ago and the Government believed that it would and should be something that the local mayor, wider political establishment and medical profession would embrace.

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For example, when other parts of the country would have been struggling with bed blocking – I know, it is an awful term – they should have been able to look to our local leaders to find the solution.

Bolton West MP Chris Green Bolton West MP Chris Green
Bolton West MP Chris Green

The Conservative Government gave around half a billion pounds of your money to make this health and care transformation happen across Greater Manchester.

The money has been spent and the problems we face are still the same.

Where did your money go and did this devolution work?

The Greater Manchester Spatial Framework was supposed to set the vision for combining house building with spending on schools, health facilities and transport infrastructure.

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In the years that it has been in existence, has anyone seen an improvement?

We are currently on the third version of the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework and we still have nothing signed off from our local political leaders so how well is this aspect of devolution working?

Westminster politicians would say that the driving force behind any mayoral agenda should be economic development to improve job opportunities, increase wages and enhance our town centres.

When I hear about the Conservative mayors, Andy Street and Ben Houchen, I always hear what economic projects they are championing to improve the lives of their residents.

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When did you last hear of a Labour mayor or leader proclaim their economic achievement?

When we look at Greater Manchester, we can see the building works and the towers going up in Manchester but we never see a fair investment in Wigan or our other great towns.

This is why I often refer to the GM mayor as the “Mayor for Manchester”. Would anyone claim that economic devolution is working for us?

The Guided Busway project cost a fortune and its success … is still a point for debate.

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The Mayor for Manchester has started the roll out of his vision for bus transport across Greater Manchester.

We cannot yet know if it will be a success but we should know what success looks like.

This scheme was not imposed by central government but was the choice of the mayor.

Will we see more regular and reliable services including early in the morning, late in the evening and on Sundays?

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Will we see the current low fares rocket up once the project is completed across Greater Manchester?

Also thinking of the “under review” vehicle charging zone, it is hard to think of any part of devolution that is actually working.