The Local Government Association’s People and Places Board, believes that the time is now right to reassert the case for devolution to non-metropolitan England to achieve the best possible outcomes for communities and businesses across the country.
The Local Government Association’s People and Places Board has established the Post-Brexit England Commission to broaden its understanding of the issues and opportunities facing the towns, villages, rural, deeply rural and coastal communities of non-metropolitan England in the coming years.
Since its launch in February 2018, the Commission has engaged a range of stakeholders from across local government, Parliament, business and the public and housing sectors. It has begun a series of roadshows across the country, gathering evidence on the challenges rural and coastal communities are facing and the local policy levers needed to tackle them.
In July 2018, it published an interim report detailing its findings to date. ‘The Future of Non-Metropolitan England: moving the conversation on’ outlines the ‘perfect storm’ of social and demographic challenges facing our rural and coastal communities. It details seven key areas in which the Commission proposes local government must be given the powers to address local issues to support the future success of non-metropolitan England:
- tackling the skills gap,
- catalysing better digital connectivity,
- building more affordable and suitable housing,
- providing support services to help maintain health and wellbeing,
- maintaining and building high quality transport provision and infrastructure,
- supporting businesses to export and attract investment,
- increasing productivity and securing inclusive growth.
The Commission is now conducting its second phase of work to test and develop its findings further and explore in more depth the future role of councils in delivering locally designed solutions to these challenges.
In its final report, to be published in 2019, the Commission will set out a compelling case for change and highlight the once in a lifetime opportunity to chart a new course for public service delivery that draws on the trusted public leadership of councils to achieve better outcomes for communities.
The Commission is visiting a range of places across the country to hear from councils, public sector agencies, businesses and local representatives with a stake in their area. Each roadshow will be an opportunity to help shape the future direction of the Commission’s work and in turn help influence the public debate on the future of public service provision outside our major cities. We invite you to join us to hear more detail on the proposals we outline in our interim report, and to share your thoughts and ideas on the big issues for non-metropolitan areas. You can read write ups of the roadshows we have held to date in the South West and East Midlands in the interim report.
Keep an eye out for a roadshow in your area in the coming months on our events page.
Contact us: PBECommission@local.gov.uk