Greater Manchester Devolution

Greater Manchester is leading the way on the devolution of powers and budgets from national government. 

The aim of devolution is to enable more local decision making, which will lead to greater benefits for people and communities. The fourth and latest devolution agreement (link below) was published in March 2016 and included new responsibilities for Greater Manchester including criminal justice, adult skills provision and a 100% business rate retention pilot project. The Greater Manchester Combined Authority website has further information on the new powers and the priorities of the "Devo Manc" agenda.

Impact for the voluntary sector and communities - GM Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Devolution Reference Group

In partnership with other voluntary, community and social enterprise sector leaders, Salford CVS is a member of the Greater Manchester VCSE Devolution Reference Group. This group came together from a range of conversations during 2015 and is seeking to promote involvement of the VCSE sector in devolution as it evolves.

The group has stated its ambition for devolution is “eradicating inequality within a generation” and has agreed a number of objectives:

  • Champion VCSE engagement in devolution across Greater Manchester by promoting the vital role the sector plays in working towards a more equal society
  • Act as a point of contact for those working within Greater Manchester devolution and Greater Manchester’s VCSE sector
  • Share information and opportunities, operate transparently and think beyond individual organisations
  • Promote positive change and collaboration within the VCSE sector through devolution
  • Create a social movement for change that empowers the communities of Greater Manchester

The secretariat lead for the group is Voluntary Sector North West and an information sheet including the group’s objectives and a full list of members can be found below.

The group considers all aspects of devolution and has contributed to discussions and policy work on topics such as transport, inclusive economic growth, leadership and the broad public service reform agenda. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it is the health and social care agenda which has been the focus of a great deal of attention, not least because so much of the sector's work is relevant to health and wellbeing.

GM ref group

Health and social care

Fully devolved responsibility for health and social care was implemented in April 2016. Greater Manchester was the first region in the country to take control of its combined health and social care funds of more than £6 billion.

This presents Greater Manchester with a unique opportunity to more directly tackle the health inequalities that disproportionately affect the communities of the region and its 2.8million residents. This will be led by politicians, councillors and senior health officials working in partnership and the voluntary and community sector has an important part to play with our connections in communities, and our track record of trusted, effective and innovative work.

Greater Manchester will receive £450million additional transformation funding to support the development of a new health and social care system, which aims to achieve four key goals (from the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership website):

  • Creating a transformed health and social care system which helps many more people stay independent and well and takes better care of those who are ill
  • Aligning our health and social care system far more closely with the wider work around education, skills, work and housing – we spend our £22billion effectively
  • Creating a financially balanced and financially sustainable health and social care system – we spend our £6billion effectively and spend no more than that
  • Making sure all the changes needed to do this are done safely so the NHS and social care continues to support the people of Greater Manchester during the next five years

The diagram below gives a clear summary of the proposed new GM health and social care system:

Summary diagram

Through conversations with the GM VCSE Reference Group, a project was commissioned from the sector by the team leading on health and social care devolution. A partnership was put together led by GMCVO (and including Salford CVS, other local infrastructure organisations, equalities groups and local Healthwatch organisations). The work was part of the “Taking Charge Together” campaign to inform the public about health and social care devolution, GMCVO and partners engaged over 1800 local people through a range of events, discussions and online surveys to explore what encourages and what makes it difficult for people to take charge of their health and wellbeing. The 'Taking Charge Together' report published in April 2016, focused on engaging marginalised communities and seldom heard voices. Most participants were enthusiastic about devolution and keen to improve their own health. However, social and environmental issues were seen as some of the most inhibiting factors which prevented people from making changes.

More resources on health and social care devolution can be found in the Health and Wellbeing section of our information and resources page.

Memorandum of Understanding Signed

In what’s being billed as another devolution first, a historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and Greater Manchester Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Sector, comprising of nearly 15, 000 organisations.

Greater Manchester today becomes the only area of the country to formally recognise in an official agreement, the contribution and importance of the VCSE sector in designing and delivering health and social care services.

The ground-breaking five-year agreement, which is backed up by over £1.1m in investment from the Partnership’s transformation fund is the product of hundreds of conversations over the past year designed to establish a new way for the statutory and VCSE sectors to work together as two equal, complementary partners. The Partnership’s transformation fund is a £450m pot to push forward changes needed to create a sustainable care system.  

Salford CVS’s role

  • Promoting the sector’s important role in devolution as a ‘strategic and delivery partner’
  • As a member of the Greater Manchester Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Devolution Reference Group
  • Monitoring developments and sharing these with members and the wider voluntary sector
  • Promoting and supporting increased public engagement, accountability and influence in the new decision making powers devolved to Greater Manchester.

For more information, please contact Salford CVS on 0161 787 7795 or email

More information

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING between The Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership and The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in Greater Manchester

MoU Between GM HSC Partnership and GM VCSE Sector Presentation January 2017

Manifesto for a new relationship between the GM VCSE sector and the GM Mayor

Historic devolution agreement for health and social care organisations and voluntary, community and social enterprise sector

The fourth and latest Greater Manchester devolution agreement

Greater Manchester Combined Authority website 

Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership website

VSNW GM Devolution Reference Group

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Salford CVS & Volunteer Centre
Registered address 
The Old Town Hall 
5 Irwell Place 
Salford, M30 0FN

Tel: 0161 787 7795 


Salford CVS is the city-wide infrastructure organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; providing specialist information, advice, development support and opportunities for influence and collaboration.

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