Lib Dems demand better devolution deal

Liberal Democrats in the West of England support devolution, but are extremely worried about the Government deal on offer including a new “metro Mayor”.

North Somerset has already turned it down, but the three remaining councils – Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, and South Gloucestershire – can still go forward.

Lib Dem leaders Ruth Davis (South Gloucestershire), Dine Romero (Bath & North East Somerset), and Gary Hopkins (Bristol) said:

“We are very sceptical about the deal in front of us. There are still too many unanswered questions about what we’re being asked to vote on, and what the long-term options are going to be. They haven’t even explained how the economic performance is going to be measured, now we’re being warned of a recession if we leave the EU.”

“This deal is being pushed through despite Lib Dem concerns, and we will need to find a way to make it work. The Mayor should not be imposed on the West against our will. We call on everyone to answer the consultation to make clear to the Secretary of State that we want devolved powers, we want more money, but we don’t want an unnecessary new layer of government.

“We have asked searching questions of officers, and people answering questions have been unable to answer them because Government hasn’t decided yet!”