The Midlands Engine | Westminster Hall Debate

Councils need greater freedom from national government to take decisions over vital services in their areas.


Key messages

In order to build desperately-needed homes, create jobs, improve health and care support for our most vulnerable and boost economic growth, all councils need greater freedom from national government to take decisions over vital services in their areas.

Combined authorities, such as the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), have been instrumental in negotiating wide-ranging and ambitious devolution deals in support of new growth. However, in recent months councils have become concerned that the pace of devolution set in the autumn of 2015 has not been maintained since and that the momentum on nationwide devolution is being lost. 

To ensure more devolution deals are agreed promptly, the Government needs to work more flexibly with local areas, recognise that not all deals need to follow the same governance framework and commit the resources necessary to get those deals over the line.

The Government's industrial strategy provides a critical opportunity to foster a successful, world-leading economy.  To get the best benefits for the country the strategy should reflect the geographic and economic diversity of the UK and must avoid being driven top down by Whitehall.