Greater Manchester Combined Authority
|Greater Manchester Combined Authority|
Greater Manchester within England
|Formation||1 April 2011|
|Type||Combined authority and Body corporate|
|Purpose/focus||Strategic local governance of Greater Manchester|
|Headquarters||Manchester Town Hall |
|Region served||Greater Manchester|
|Chair||Peter Smith |
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is the top-tier administrative body for the local governance of Greater Manchester, England. The combined authority was established on 1 April 2011 and consists of ten indirectly elected members, each a directly elected councillor from one of the ten metropolitan boroughs that comprise Greater Manchester. The authority derives most of its powers from the Local Government Act 2000 and Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, and replaced a range of single-purpose joint boards and quangos to provide a formal administrative authority for Greater Manchester for the first time since the abolition of the Greater Manchester County Council in 1986.
The planning policies of the GMCA were developed in the 2000s by the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities in the Greater Manchester Strategy. It is a strategic authority with powers over public transport, skills, housing, regeneration, waste management, carbon neutrality and planning permission. Functional executive bodies, such as Transport for Greater Manchester, are responsible for delivery of services in these areas. The GMCA appoints a Chair and Vice-Chairs, from among its ten executive members.
The costs of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority that are reasonably attributable to the exercise of its functions relating to public transport, economic development and regeneration (and any start up costs) are met by its constituent councils. Such costs are funded by direct government grant and, as a precepting authority, with some money collected with local Council Tax apportioned between the constituent councils.
Greater Manchester was created as a metropolitan county composed of ten metropolitan boroughs on 1 April 1974 as a result of the Local Government Act 1972. From its investiture through to 31 March 1986 the county had a two-tier system of local government; district councils shared power with the Greater Manchester County Council. The county council was abolished in 1986 as a result of the Local Government Act 1985, effectively making the ten metropolitan boroughs unitary authority areas. The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) was established in 1986 as a voluntary association to make representations and bids on behalf Greater Manchester and continue to manage strategic public services that were delegated to it by the councils, such as public transport and waste management. In the late-2000s, AGMA began actively seeking a formal government structure for Greater Manchester under the appellation "Manchester City Region".
 Development and formation
Following a bid from the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities highlighting the potential benefits in combatting the financial crisis of 2007–2008, it was announced in the 2009 United Kingdom Budget that Greater Manchester and the Leeds City Region would be awarded Statutory City Region Pilot status, allowing (if they desired) for their constituent district councils to pool resources and become statutory combined authorities with powers comparable to the Greater London Authority. The aim of the pilot is to evaluate the contributions to economic growth and sustainable development by combined authorities. The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009, passed with reference to the 2009 United Kingdom Budget, enabled the creation of a combined authority for Greater Manchester with devolved powers on public transport, skills, housing, regeneration, waste management, carbon neutrality and planning permission, pending approval from the ten councils. Between late-2009 and February 2010 AGMA debated the constitution and functions of the new combined authority, including matters such as name, voting system and remit. From February 2010 through to April 2010 the ten metropolitan district councils were consulted for their recommendations before submission of their constitution to central government; changes included extra powers for controlling further education, additional provisions for scrutinising the authority, and swapping the draft name 'Manchester City Region Authority' (MCRA) for the 'Greater Manchester Combined Authority' (GMCA), a name approved by the Executive Board of AGMA.
Consultations made with district councils in March 2010 recommended that all GMCA matters requiring a vote would be decided on via a majority rule system involving ten members appointed from among the councillors of the ten metropolitan boroughs (one representing each borough of Greater Manchester with each council also nominating one substitute) without the input of the UK's central government. The Transport for Greater Manchester Committee would be formed from a pool of 33 councillors allocated by council population, roughly one councillor for every 75,000 residents to scrutinise the running of the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (Manchester will have 5 councillors, Wigan and Stockport 4, Bury 2 and all other Boroughs 3). The ten district councils of Greater Manchester approved the creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on 29 March 2010, and submitted its final recommendations for its constitution to the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport. On 31 March 2010 the Communities Secretary John Denham approved the constitution and launched a 15 week public consultation on the draft bill together with the approved constitution. The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, will be replaced by the GMCA, has requested that the new authority should be created as from 1 April 2011. On 16 November 2010, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced that it had accepted the combined authority proposal and that an order to establish the GMCA would be laid before Parliament. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority Order 2011, which formally establishes the combined authority, was made 22 March 2011 and came into force on 1 April 2011.
 Schemes and strategies
 Localism Act 2011
Following the passage of the Localism Act 2011 on 15 November 2011, the Department for Communities and Local Government began negotiating with groups of local councils for tailored deals to be included in the 2012 United Kingdom budget. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority sought provision for a further transfer of powers that would result in an additional delegation of authority from the UK's central government. This step-change would mean that, instead of the GMCA bidding for government funding on a project-by-project basis, it will receive a sum of money from government ministers and would be able to determine, locally, how it is used. The UK Government is considering a further plan to allow passenger transport executives to raise local rail fares in their areas, and directly invest the money raised in infrastructure and rolling stock alongside the specification of additional or improved rail services.
 Greater Manchester City Deal
- A "Revolving Infrastructure Fund" allowing the GMCA to earn-back up to £30 million per year against spending on infrastructure projects.
- The formation of a "Greater Manchester Investment Framework" allowing Greater Manchester to make better use of Central Government and EU funding.
- The establishment of a "Greater Manchester Housing Investment Board" to build new housing in the area.
- The creation of a "City Apprenticeship and Skills Hub" to increase the number of apprenticeships available in the area.
- The formation of a "Low Carbon Hub" to integrate multiple carbon reduction measures.
 Reduced carbon and economic growth
In November 2012, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey MP, signed an agreement between the Combined Authority and the Department of Energy and Climate Change, in recognition of its deliverance of low carbon initiatives (such as bulk-buying energy from suppliers for consumers in Greater Manchester), and committing the Government to design and deliver new green initiatives in Greater Manchester releasing millions in funding to pioneer new low carbon technologies.
In May 2012, the GMCA proposed to set up a franchisor body with neighbouring metropolitan authorities in West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, to take over the Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express rail franchises, and, from 2014/15, operate their routes under a single franchise, sharing financial risk and operational responsibilities.
 Greater Manchester Combined Authority
The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is the highest tier of the organisation and be made up of 10 members (indirectly elected councillors) derived from the councillors of Greater Manchester's constituent authorities. Each member has one vote with the chair not possessing a deciding vote, each council nominates one member and one stand-in member in the case of absence. The constituent council may at any time terminate the membership of its nominee, the nominee will also cease to be a member if at any time they should cease to be an elected representative and a new nominee must be selected as soon as possible. The GMCA will elect a Chair and Vice-Chair from amongst its members. All questions arising before the GMCA will be decided by a simple majority vote, and if a vote is tied it is considered to be lost. Several subjects will however require an enhanced majority of seven votes in favour, these are:
- The adoption of the Sustainable Community Strategy (i.e. the Greater Manchester Strategy, the Greater Manchester Housing Strategy and other related strategies)
- The adoption of the Multi-Area Agreement
- The approval of the local economic assessment
- The adoption of the Local Transport Plan and policies contained therein
- The combined authority’s annual budget
- The setting of the transport levy
- Approval of new schemes to be financed by the Greater Manchester Transport Fund
- Borrowing limits, Treasury Management Strategy, the investment strategy and the capital budget
- The acceptance of any proposed delegation of functions and budgets to the GMCA by the Secretary of State
- Such other plans and strategies as are determined by the GMCA
 Transport for Greater Manchester
Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) is the executive body of the GMCA for the execution of transport functions and will be the executive agency responsible for the running of Greater Manchester's transport services and infrastructure such as Metrolink, subsidised bus and rail services as well as carrying out transport and environmental planning. The organisation will carry out the previous functions of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE). The organisation absorbed the previously separate ITA Policy Unit, the GM Joint Transport Unit, the GMTU and GMUTC. It will be supervised by the members of the TfGMC.
 Transport for Greater Manchester Committee
The Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC) and its sub committees are formed from a nominated pool of 33 councillors to manage the TfGM and create transport policy on behalf of the GMCA, TfGMC also elects its own Chair and Vice-Chair. The committee assumeed the roles of the previous Greater Manchester Integrated Transport Agency (GMITA) as well as the newly devolved transport powers and responsibilities from Government and the Councils. These councillors have voting rights on most transport issues despite not being members of the GMCA however some decisions would still require approval by the GMCA, the functions which would be referred (but not delegated) to the TfGMC would include making recommendations in relation to:
- The budget and transport levy
- Borrowing limits
- Major and strategic transport policies
- The local transport plan
- Operation of Greater Manchester Transport Fund and approval of new schemes
- Appointment of Director General/Chief Executive of TfGM
In addition two functions would be delegated solely to the TfGMC without requiring GMCA approval, namely road safety under Section 39, Road Traffic Act 1988 and traffic management under Sections 16-17, Traffic Management Act 2004.
 Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee
A Joint Overview and Scrutiny Committee (JOSC) will be established to provide scrutiny of the GMCA, TfGMC, TfGM and CNE, each constituent council will appoint three of its elected members to JOSC and sub committees may be formed to examine specific issues.
In anticipation of the combined authority seven commissions were set up to handle the new responsibilities, six commenced operation between May and August 2009 they are:
- Commission For the New Economy (CNE)
- Planning and Housing Commission
- Transport Commission (never activated and superseded by the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee)
- Environment Commission
- Health Commission
- Public Protection Commission
- Improvement and Efficiency Commission
The current intention is that each of the Commissions (except Improvement and Efficiency which consist entirely of local authority members) are formed of a mixture of elected members and representatives from other partners, including the private sector, other public sector agencies and the voluntary sector. Seats are shared out amongst all the local authorities as equally as possible, with no local authority having more than one seat on each Commission with the exception of the Improvement and Efficiency Commission which will have all authorities represented. Each Commission's decisions require approval by the members of the GMCA.
 Partner bodies
Whilst remaining separate entities the Greater Manchester Police Authority, the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority and The Chair and Vice-Chair of TfGMC have access to all agendas and reports for meetings of the GMCA, enhanced attendance rights for non-public agenda items and speaking rights at meetings.
A partnership board will be established consisting of members of the GMCA, the Chair of TfGMC and senior members of neighbouring authorities to discuss matters of common interest.
 Members of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority
The GMCA is made up of 10 members, who are elected councillors, nominated by each of Greater Manchester's constituent authorities. In most cases the nominee is the Leader of the authority.
|Name||Nominating authority||Position within nominating authority|
|Matthew Colledge||Metropolitan Borough of Trafford||Leader of the Council|
|Mike Connolly||Metropolitan Borough of Bury||Leader of the Council|
|Dave Goddard||Metropolitan Borough of Stockport||Leader of the Council|
|Colin William Lambert||Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale||Leader of the Council|
|Richard Leese||City of Manchester||Leader of the Council|
|Jim McMahon||Metropolitan Borough of Oldham||Leader of the Council|
|John Merry||City of Salford||Assistant Mayor|
|Cliff Morris||Metropolitan Borough of Bolton||Leader of the Council|
|Kieran Quinn||Metropolitan Borough of Tameside||Executive Leader|
|Peter Smith||Metropolitan Borough of Wigan||Executive Leader|
- Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (March 2010). "Greater Manchester Combined Authority Final Scheme" (PDF). agma.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
- "Review of City Region Governance in Greater Manchester". gmita.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
- Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (2009). "City Region Governance: A consultation on future arrangements in Greater Manchester" (PDF). agma.gov.uk. Retrieved on 18 March 2010.
- Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. "City Region". agma.gov.uk. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- HM Treasury (16 December 2009). "Greater Manchester granted city region status". hm-treasury.gov.uk. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
- "John Denham - Greater Manchester to be country's first ever Combined Authority". communities.gov.uk. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2010.[dead link]
- "Plan to end rail and road misery". thisislancashire.co.uk. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- "Greater Manchester to become first 'city region'". Oldham Advertiser. oldhamadvertiser.co.uk. 29 March 2010. Retrieved 30 March 2010.
- Manchester City Council (29 March 2010). "Greater Manchester agrees to combined authority". manchester.gov.uk. Retrieved 31 March 2010.
- Vaughan, Henry (2012-11-01). "'Bulk-buying' fuel scheme could see Greater Manchester residents' energy bills slashed". mancunianmatters.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- "Ministerial visit supports Greater Manchester's low carbon future". greenbuildnews.co.uk. 2012-11-02. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- bernstein, Howard (2012-10-05). "Greater Manchester Combined Authority is a model for regional cities". The Guardian. guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- "Heseltine: Give regions strength". placenorthwest.co.uk. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2012-11-09.
- Association of Greater Manchester Authorities. "About AGMA". agma.gov.uk. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- Greater Manchester Combined Authority
- Transport for Greater Manchester
- Transport for Greater Manchester Committee
- Commission for the New Economy
- Greater Manchester Health Commission