Agenda item

Presented By:Ed Cox


The Director of Inclusive Growth and Public Service Reform gave a verbal report to outline the Levelling Up White Paper as well as the process established at the WMCA for exploration and the offers and asks to put forward to government in relation to a trailblazer devolution deal offered by government to the WMCA and Greater Manchester Combined Authority to negotiate further deals unlike other areas in England.        


The Levelling Up White Paper was published on 2 February 2022.  Within the paper, it defined ‘levelling up’ as:


·       Increasing opportunity across the UK, and

·       Reducing disparities between and within regions.


The WMCA had identified 20 workstreams to address with government for levelling up, with one of the workstreams being net zero so that energy and environment was incorporated in to all other workstreams in housing, regeneration, planning, health, social capital and social economy.


There had been several informal meetings of the mayor, local authority leaders and other regional stakeholders, as well as initial meetings with government officials and ministerial aides where several principles had been articulated to help guide the trailblazer devolution deal process.


Following these discussions, the Director of Inclusive Growth and Public Service Reform referenced from the report the six devolution asks over the three areas of stimulating the low carbon and smart energy sector, decarbonisation of heat (retrofit) and local area energy planning.        


The full extent of the timetable for the trailblazer devolution deal was not known, however the WMCA planned to have a draft proposal by June 2022 for submission to government before summer recess. 


The Chair thanked the Director of Inclusive Growth and Public Service Reform and his team for their work on devolution to the region but noted concerns that the report did not reference the transport agenda such as vehicles in reducing emissions and improved transport routing, identification of best practices and products for retrofit use and to be mindful of language used for energy planning for the public to understand and have headings that are meaningful and showcase action for simplification. 


Matthew Rhodes extended his thanks to the WMCA in having a framework for engagement but noted concern of the industrial decarbonisation in employment of people within the region for achieving net zero being a challenge and threat  to jobs.  Matthew noted that resolving the issue of a transition from the current economic base to net zero was most important for retainment in productivity of skilled jobs in the region and was a huge task.  Matthew noted positive investment opportunities such as the Gigafactory in Coventry would provide great opportunities for greener technologies for the future, however further opportunities and investment in reconfiguring foundries in the black Country in enabling green fuels, employment of people and production of cleaner products would be required from the WMCA and public sector to support this transition.




(1)  The publication of the Levelling Up White Paper and reflections on its   implications for the WMCA area was noted.


(2)  Feedback on the collaborative governance for development of the trailblazer devolution deal was considered.


(3)  The opportunities to maximise environment and energy within the trailblazer devolution deal was considered.

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