The Real Deal: Pushing the parameters of devolution deals

My paper for SPERI with the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) on how to establish a more ambitious and progressive devolution agenda [co-authored with Tom Hunt, Neil McInroy, Amy-Grace Whillans-Weldrake and Matthew Todd.

The Real Deal: Pushing the parameters of devolution deals calls on the new government to reset the devolution agenda, rethink UK governance at all levels, and presents ideas for a new settlement to make devolution a force for progressive change.

The paper outlines new ideas for future devolution deals in eleven policy areas: employment policy, transport, energy and environmental policy, housing and land use, health, procurement, local banking, higher education, lottery funding and the democratic process. It also calls for a ‘central bedrock of decentralisation’, including a new constitutional settlement for centre-local relations.

Craig Berry, Deputy Director of SPERI, says:

“As a new government takes office this is a valuable opportunity to reset the devolution agenda in the UK. Bold new ideas to push the parameters of devolution deals are needed and we want this report to be taken up by mayors and combined authorities, new Ministers and the public.

“Crucially, devolution away from the centre cannot succeed without reform at the centre. The referendum result is a wake-up call to urgently reconsider the UK’s governance structures at all levels and we need to establish a central bedrock of decentralisation. This will require forging a genuine constitutional settlement for centre-local relations and for the new Prime Minister to put her money where her mouth is and create a new industrial strategy.”

Neil McInroy, Chief Executive of CLES, says:

“It is increasingly clear that present devolution – whilst a unique opportunity – is flawed. Whilst the deals have started to reverse some of the problems of over-centralisation, devolution has been too constrained by the Treasury’s economic and social model, and cowed by the ongoing austerity, in which the poorest areas have suffered the most. This publication and collaboration between SPERI and CLES starts to think through what real devolution deals could look like and potentially herald a progressive and enduring social, economic, democratic and environmental future.”

Click here to download the full document.