While Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region are the most advanced in devolution processes, there has been much activity elsewhere.
Cheshire and Warrington are considering submitting a second bid, after some councils voted against the first, ‘The Gateway to the Northern Powerhouse’. However, some Warrington councillors are said to have been discussing joining in with the Liverpool City Region deal.
Lancashire councils, after consulting on becoming a Combined Authority, are still developing a bid, which is complex since it would mean the involvement of up to 15 local authorities.
Cumbria’s original deal bid fell through due to the requirement of an elected mayor. However, suggestions that the Prime Minister, Theresa May, may not necessitate elected mayors, could mean a deal is back in the cards. Cumbria CVS is well connected and was involved in drafting the original devolution deal.
Connecting the local to the regional
Although the basic principle of devolution is to localise, new structures are emerging that could provide greater voice, co-ordination, and clout, across the North West, and elsewhere. The two Labour Metro Mayor candidates for Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region, Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram have a strong friendship, and Rotheram has already spoke of creating a "North West Powerhouse".
Andy Burnham has suggested creating a ‘Council of the North’, which would expand the current Transport for the North remit.
How the VCSE sector will be involved at this geography remains to be seen.