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In March 2023, the Government published two new ‘trailblazer devolution deals’, which proposed devolving additional powers to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA). Both these authorities have been headed by directly-elected ‘metro-mayors’ since 2017.

This briefing paper provides details of the proposals in the trailblazer devolution deals. Additional information about the GMCA and WMCA, and the Government’s agenda of English devolution, can be found in the Commons Library research briefing Devolution to local government in England.

This briefing paper sets out each policy area in which the trailblazer devolution deals propose to transfer additional power to the two localities. It also provides information about the deals’ proposals in the fields of data provision and sharing; and new accountability requirements that will apply when the trailblazer deals are implemented.

The briefing paper also sets out the trailblazer deals’ proposals for a ‘single financial settlement’. This would involve the two combined authorities being provided with a single budget, negotiated with the Government, that would replace a large quantity of separate grant funding schemes. This would be implemented in the next Spending Review period, beginning in 2025.

The paper’s appendix compares the powers proposed in the trailblazer deals to the powers currently available to the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London.

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