Thomas Bridge 21 July 2016

Devolution failing under 'austerity cosh'

Devolution deals with councils are being squeezed by ‘narrow negotiations’ with Whitehall that were ‘stacked in favour of the status quo’, a new report has claimed.

A joint study from the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute and Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) said devolution is failing under the ‘austerity cosh’.

It also said the Government’s approach to decentralising powers had been ‘underpowered’ and ‘too constrained by the Treasury’s economic and social model’.

Chief executive of CLES, Neil McInroy, said: ‘It is increasingly clear that present devolution - whilst a unique opportunity - is flawed.

‘Whilst the deals have started to reverse some of the problems of over-centralisation, devolution has been too constrained by the Treasury’s economic and social model, and cowed by the ongoing austerity, in which the poorest areas have suffered the most.’

Visit The MJ (£) to find out why progress on handing housing powers down to local authorities in the 11 devolution deals is being seen as ‘slow, piecemeal and undermined by centralising tendencies and inappropriate national programmes and targets’.

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