Last edited 12 Dec 2020

Combined authorities

The power to create combined authorities was introduced in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009.

Combined authorities are legal structures that can be created by two or more local authorities in England to undertake joint functions. They are created by the Secretary of State at the request of the local authorities following a review process. The Secretary of State must consult the authorities, and must be satisfied that the combined authority will contribute to economic development and transport policy.

Authorities may also be removed from the combined authority, or the combined authority may be abolished by statutory instrument.

Combined authorities must include membership from all local authorities in its area, they cannot include part of a county council area or any enclaves.

Combined authorities can take on transport and economic development functions. The membership and functions of combined authorities is specified in the order that creates them. They also have a general power of competence introduced by the Localism Act 2011 which allows the transfer of public functions to ‘permitted bodies’.

Existing combined authorities include; the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, West Yorkshire, Sheffield and Liverpool and the North-East combined authority.

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