William Eichler 02 March 2020

Government urged to 'think big' to tackle regional inequalities

A comprehensive review of economic decline and social division has called for a ‘large-scale, comprehensive, long-term and devolved’ plan of action to deliver change.

The UK2070 Commission’s report found that regional inequalities in the UK continue to increase, with real growth in productivity being almost twice the average in London and nearly 50% of employment growth being in the south-east.

Commission chair Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, said many people in Britain felt ‘left behind’ by growth elsewhere and that had contributed to the ‘acrimonious debate about Europe’.

He said: ‘They [the inequalities] reflect an over-centralised system that fails to comprehend the reality of regional need and consistently comes up with policies that are either under-resourced, too fragmented or too short-lived to make a difference.

‘The scale of the challenge we face is such that we need a generational shift if we are to avoid serious decline and division.’

The commission called for a devolution of powers and resources from central government to local communities.

Chair of the Local Government Association’s city regions board, Sir Richard Leese, said: ‘Taking decisions over how to run local services closer to where people live is key to improving them.

‘With the promised White Paper due this year, councils want to work with the Government to reignite devolution in England.

'Any new approach needs to move beyond bespoke deals with individual areas to a devolution baseline – a package of devolved powers that is available to all of English local government.

'These new powers need to be underpinned by statute so that they, along with those powers already devolved through existing deals, provide a sustainable long-term basis to drive inclusive growth across England.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Street Works and Permitting Officer

Lincolnshire County Council
£26,466 - £29,174
Are you an experienced Highways Engineer who wants to make a difference to how Street Works are managed. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Revenues Officer x5

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31,122 - £32,112
The Revenues Service currently has vacancies for Revenues Officers. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Secondary Reintegration Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£31,122 - £32,112
Children and young people are at the heart of everything we do at the Borough of Royal Greenwich. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Deputy Director of Housing

City of Wolverhampton Council
£97,896
Could you lead on the strategic housing agenda, delivering strong leadership and effective management? Wolverhampton, West Midlands
Recuriter: City of Wolverhampton Council

Senior Health Improvement Officer

Leicestershire County Council
£42,552
Leicestershire County Council is looking to recruit a dynamic public health professional to join the Health Improvement Team. Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.