Heather Jameson 15 July 2021

Johnson: Bring your devolution plans to me

Johnson: Bring your devolution plans to me image

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for local leaders to take their devolution plans to him in a keynote speech from the West Midlands this morning.

The speech, designed to reassure the Conservative heartlands that levelling up the north did not mean levelling down the south, cantered through the Government’s plans for transport, infrastructure, education, skills and devolution.

Mr Johnson claimed the Government was ‘starting to see the results of devolution’ with the metro mayors, but added: ‘We need this levelling up to go much further and faster’.

He claimed there was no ‘cookie cutter division of regions’ that could divide the country up neatly, but there was a chance to ‘encourage local leadership’ now the ‘loony left’ ideology of the past has gone.

Mr Johnson vowed to devolve to directly-elected mayors for counties and said he would consider bespoke devolution deals for ‘specific purposes’.

He continued: ‘My offer to you is … come and see us … with your vision to level up.

'We will give you the tools to change your area for the better.’

Mr Johnson vowed to tackle health inequality and increase the life chances of children from more deprived areas, claiming it was not morally right to be ‘squandering vast reserves of human capital’.

He added: ‘We don’t want to level down.

'We don’t want to decapitate the tall poppies.’

Instead, Mr Johnson suggested the policy was about increasing London’s economy on the national stage at the same time as bringing the rest of the UK’s economy up and preventing the capital from ‘overheating’. 

He said: ‘This is not a jam spreading operation … it is win, win for the whole United Kingdom.’

Mr Johnson’s comments come after a shift away from the Conservatives in Tory heartlands in the local elections and recent Chesham and Amersham by-election despite gains in Red Wall constituencies.

The County Councils’ Network devolution spokesperson, Martin Hill, called for members to get the same devolved powers as their urban neighbours.

He added: ‘Local areas should be able to decide the most appropriate devolution arrangements for counties and ministers must deliver a flexible approach through the forthcoming Levelling up White Paper.

Photo: ComposedPix / Shutterstock.com

Skate parks are not the only fruit image

Skate parks are not the only fruit

On Go Skateboarding Day, Susannah Walker asks councils and their leisure and park departments to think differently about what facilities they provide for teenagers.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Adult Social Care (CLDT)

Bolton Council
This is a permanent Social Work role in Adult Social Care. Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

Principal Programme Officer

Bolton Council
Do you enjoy variety and change? Can you keep your eye on the detail whilst also thinking strategically? Bolton, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Bolton Council

IDT Junior Developer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£28,226 - £30,095
Telford & Wrekin Council are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated Junior Developer. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Activities Leader (Outdoor Adventurous Activities)

Leicestershire County Council
Lead activities and ensure that delivery of programmes are of a high standard. Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Transition Support Worker (Complex Needs)

Leicestershire County Council
This is an exciting opportunity for to work with an experienced team delivering high quality learning opportunities and care. Leicester, 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.