Resetting the relationship between local and national government. Read our Local Government White Paper

Combined authorities: a plain English guide

This guide outlines what combined authorities are, the process for establishing them and examples of existing ones.

View allDevolution articles

A combined authority (CA) is a legal body set up using national legislation that enables a group of two or more councils to collaborate and take collective decisions across council boundaries.

CAs are formally established by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government through a Parliamentary Order following the request or consent of the councils concerned. There are two types of combined authority: those with a mayor for the area covered by the CA and those which do not have a mayor. The legislation does not allow the creation of combined authorities in London.