London boroughs to the east of the capital want to follow the Manchester model and grab more devolved powers from central and regional Government.
The idea, which grew out of the Growth Boroughs initiative surrounding the Olympics, would see an “eastern powerhouse” taking on matters such as jobs, health and opportunity.
The plan was outlined by Sir Robin Wales to a London Assembly working group examining the idea. He told members: “By 2030 we’ll have 34% of the population, 2.2million people all the land and development. Everyone knows everything is moving eastwards – that’s where the opportunities are going to be.
“It’s fairly obvious from the devolution we have had that we can deliver much better at a local level. Power should stop where it’s best to deliver.
Hackney, originally scheduled to be part of the grouping has opted out, but Sir Robin said there was a natural connection with Greenwich, south of the river.
He said: “When we get it together to build the bridge between us and Greenwich it will be even better between us. Plus we’ve got the Jubilee line and Greenwich has major development opportunities. They share a vision about wanting to see jobs and skills so they fit comfortably with the ethos of opportunity and aspiration for our residents.”
He said he had “high hopes” for Tower Hamlets now it was “sane” following the election of Labour colleague John Biggs.
Asked about devolved powers, Mr Biggs said: “I believe it is a positive initiative, as the east London boroughs working together can most effectively lobby for better resources and funding to meet the needs of residents. I am looking forward to sitting down with my colleagues from neighbouring boroughs to discuss how to progress the initiative.”