Responding to the devolution deals announced in today’s Autumn Budget, Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, said:
“The announcement of the first new devolution deals in 20 months is encouraging and will benefit those living in the North of Tyne region and the West Midlands, but many more such deals are needed to reverse the growing sense of stalled progress and missed opportunities across much of the country.
“Councils want their residents to be able to enjoy ‘devolution delight’ rather than suffer ‘devolution deadlock’.
“The longer it takes to secure new devolution deals, the longer communities will have to wait to benefit from the opportunities currently available to areas where devolution has taken place.
“These include having greater powers and funding to improve local transport, housing, health and social care and to equip local people with the skills they need to secure employment and prosper.
“Government needs to engage in an honest and open debate about the best form of governance able to foster thriving local economies across the country, including non-metropolitan areas, to ensure that opportunities for inclusive growth are not lost. This would be aided by providing further detail on the proposal for a common devolution framework, as contained in the Conservative manifesto, as soon as possible.
“We also ask that in order to have a clearer account of progress to date, that the annual devolution report is published.”