Greater Manchester’s Police Commissioner has joined the devolution debate in calling for devolved powers for the English regions in the light of the Scottish independence debate.
Writing in today’s Manchester Evening News, Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd says the North is being drained by a London-focussed Government which has seen the region suffer from lack of investment while the capital prospers.
As Scots make a once in a generational decision later this week, Tony argues now is the time to make the case for devolved powers for Greater Manchester, giving the region a greater democratic voice and freeing it from the shackles of centralised decision-making.
Tony said: “Whatever the result of the referendum, what follows will have profound implications for Greater Manchester.
“Scots have been promised significantly greater devolved powers if they say no this week. But it isn’t just Scotland that needs more power – we do too.
“Successive governments have failed the North of England for too long. Labour has often taken the North for granted and the Tories simply do not understand or care about the North.
“Without greater devolved powers we risk being strangled by a confident and powerful Scotland, and a London that drains the rest of the country in pursuit of its own success.
“Scotland makes a once-in-a-generation choice this week. We must seize this opportunity and make our case for the North to have a greater democratic voice as that is the key to our success for the future.”
Tony spent yesterday in Scotland on behalf of the Better Together campaign, which is urging Scots to vote no in Thursday’s referendum in return for greater devolved powers from Westminster.