Council bosses to meet over east London devolution plans

Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, will meet with the bosses of eight othe

Cllr Darren Rodwell, leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, will meet with the bosses of eight other east London councils later this month - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Nine borough bosses, including Barking and Dagenham leader Cllr Darren Rodwell, will meet later this month to discuss how more power can be devolved to east London.

In an email to councillors, the leader of neighbouring Havering Cllr Roger Ramsey revealed the authorities are targeting powers over transport, business growth, education, housing, health and social care and employment.

Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest will join Cllr Rodwell and Cllr Ramsey at Stratford Town Hall on January 31.

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman confirmed the meeting would take place and referred to the new group of boroughs as Nelsa – the North East London Strategic Authority.

He added: “By working with our partners our voice will be stronger, our influence greater and the chances of success in securing funding better. We are establishing a powerful partnership that responsibilities and funding can be devolved to.

“Some preliminary meetings have taken place ahead of the conference planned for January 31 and more are planned to ensure the event is a success in putting Barking and Dagenham, and north and east London, firmly on the map.”

Cllr Ramsey’s email states they will “explore the issue of devolution of greater powers to the region, building on the deal just struck by Greater Manchester”.

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In November, chancellor George Osborne announced the northern county would be given devolved powers over transport, housing, planning and policing to the tune of £1bn, as well as a directly-elected mayor.

Cllr Ramsey stated west London boroughs have had similar discussions through the West London Alliance.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has not commented on the meeting.