LGA responds to UK2070 Commission report on regional inequality

“As the Commission rightly shows, a centralised employment and skills system run from Whitehall is not the most effective way to support people find a job or progress to more rewarding work, something the LGA has long called to be devolved."


Photograph of London

Responding to the report by the independent UK2070 Commission, which says that an ‘over-centralised system’ is partly responsible for widening regional inequality, Sir Richard Leese, Chair of the Local Government Association’s City Regions Board, said:

“This report sets out the case for urgently tackling rising inequality in our regions.

“Taking decisions over how to run local services closer to where people live is key to improving them. There is clear and significant evidence that outcomes for local communities improve and the country as a whole gets better value for money when democratically-elected councils have the freedoms and funding to make local decisions.

“As the Commission rightly shows, a centralised employment and skills system run from Whitehall is not the most effective way to support people find a job or progress to more rewarding work, something the LGA has long called to be devolved.

“With the promised White Paper due this year, councils want to work with the Government to reignite devolution in England. Any new approach needs to move beyond bespoke deals with individual areas to a ‘devolution baseline’ – a package of devolved powers that is available to all of English local government. These new powers need to be underpinned by statute so that they, along with those powers already devolved through existing deals, provide a sustainable long term basis to drive inclusive growth across England.”