Non-metropolitan areas account for a significant proportion (56 per cent) of England’s economic output.
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- Non-metropolitan areas account for a significant proportion (56 per cent) of England’s economic output. They have diverse economies that include vital industries such as advanced manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.
- Like other parts of the country, they face significant investment challenges if they are to continue to grow and support inclusive communities:
- Brexit presents challenges, but also opportunities to do things differently. Powers repatriated from the European Union must not simply reside in Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont, but instead should be passed down to communities across the country including those in more rural areas to better connect them with future prosperity and bring decisions over public services closer to the people affected by them.
- Devolution to local leaders is the most effective means of ensuring that the social and economic interests of non-metropolitan communities are reflected in the delivery of services and the development of policy solutions. So far the Government has shown a clear preference for a form of devolved governance – a mayoral combined authority – which sits at odds with many of the well-established governance structures already in place. This risks excluding large parts of the country from accessing the important levers of growth provided by devolution.
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House of Lords Debate on the rural economy, Thursday 2 November 2017