London mayor Sadiq Khan welcomes progress made on devolution to London in the Budget

 
Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Newly-elected London Mayor Leaves Home For First Day At City Hall
Sadiq Khan hailed the London devolution agreement announced in today's Budget (Source: Getty)

Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered a historic devolution agreement for Londoners today to "protect jobs and investment in the aftermath of Brexit".

The devolution agreement focussed on infrastructure projects to help London mayor Sadiq Khan upgrade the capital's road, rail and Underground networks and boost its economy.

It also confirmed the devolution of new powers to allow the mayor and Transport for London to reduce congestion.

In his Budget, the chancellor also confirmed that an agreement has been reached to devolve a number of healthcare powers in London which will lead to better services that meet the needs of local communities.

Other aspects the agreement promised was granting London more powers over the administration of business rates. The chancellor also agreed to finalise a devolution deal on criminal justice services by June. The deal will look at working and co-commissioning of services between the government and the mayor – with the aim of improving services for victims and offenders in London.

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Sadiq Khan said: “Today’s London devolution agreement shows that we get the best deal for Londoners when we put party politics aside and work closely with the government.

“I am pleased that the chancellor has recognised that giving London more control is vital if we are to protect jobs and investment in the aftermath of Brexit.

“London has a bigger population than Wales and Scotland combined, but we have far less control over how taxes are spent and public services are run.

“Giving London the ability to invest more in building crucial new infrastructure and devolving control of business rates will help increase economic growth and improve productivity.

"And granting London greater control over health, criminal justice, skills and back to work programmes will allow us to better improve the life chances of thousands of Londoners."

Read more: The capital needs Crossrail 2 for ongoing global success, say London firms

However, the mayor said he is "disappointed" that the government did not announce any pledges on Crossrail 2.

"I am disappointed that the government did not use the opportunity to fully fund our police force or pledge their support for Crossrail 2," he said.

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