Queen's Speech: LGA responds to Devolution White Paper

“It is encouraging that today’s Queen’s Speech has signalled a renewed energy in favour of English devolution."


Thumbnail

Responding to the Queen’s Speech announcement today that a Devolution White Paper will be published, Cllr James Jamieson, Chairman of the Local Government Association, said:

“It is encouraging that today’s Queen’s Speech has signalled a renewed energy in favour of English devolution.

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

“With no new devolution deals agreed in two years, councils will look to work with the Government on how to reignite this process. As a first step, any new approach needs to move beyond bespoke deals with individual areas to a package of sustainably-funded devolved powers that is available to all of English local government and can be delivered through flexible governance arrangements. These powers need to be underpinned by statute so they, along with those already devolved through existing deals, cannot be rolled back by a simple change in government’s policy.

“This is vital so that all parts of England have the opportunity and certainty to reap the benefits of having greater powers and funding to improve services such as housing, transport, and health and social care.

“With adequate funding and the right powers, councils can help the Government tackle the challenges facing our nation and make a huge difference to their communities by building desperately-needed new homes, creating jobs and school places, providing care for older and disabled people and boosting economic growth.”