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Elections will be held in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, Greater Manchester, Liverpool City Region, Tees Valley, West Midlands and the West of England. Each of these regions consists of formal groupings of councils known as combined authorities, which have assumed powers from central government on strategic matters including transport, housing and planning, skills and economic development.

The mayoral elections follow the agreement of ‘devolution deals’ between the Government and these combined authorities, by which new powers and budgets would be devolved on condition that directly-elected mayoralties be introduced. These authorities then become mayoral combined authorities.

The devolution deals agreed to date cover a range of policy areas and budgets, and vary in their extent between combined authorities. Greater Manchester, which was the first area to form a combined authority in 2011, is assuming the widest range of powers, including over health and social care. Other mayoral combined authorities have agreed deals incorporating more limited powers.

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