Five London boroughs launch micro devolution bid


A group of key South London borough councils have launched a bid for more devolution in their area, with a focus on greater transport powers.

The first meeting of the South London Partnership was held this week and attended by the leaders of the five local authorities involved - Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton LBCs.

One of the main calls made by the partnership to government is for a stronger role in transport planning including local control of bus routes and stronger orbital connections.

The boroughs also want 100% retention of business rates and the removal of restrictions on borrowing to deliver homes.

A joint committee with decision-making powers for the group is made up of Kingston Council leader Kevin Davis, Sutton Council leader Ruth Dombey, Croydon Council leader Tony Newman, Richmond Council leader Lord True, and Merton Council leader Stephen Alambritis.

Chair of the joint committee, Cllr Alambritis, said: ‘This is a landmark opportunity for an unprecedented scale of growth in our region, which will bring huge benefits for local residents.

‘South London represents one of the biggest growth opportunities - not only in London but the entire country.

‘We are starting from a position of strength and the strong track record we have of working together that demonstrates a single focus on delivery.

‘Our message to government is quite clear – devolve us the powers we are asking for to unlock the growth potential in our region that will ensure London maintains its status as a global city in the coming decades.

‘Together we offer the perfect platform to deliver a unique growth proposition benefiting both London and the UK.’

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