William Eichler 20 February 2024

Levelling up requires ‘meaningful’ devolution, business group says

Levelling up requires ‘meaningful’ devolution, business group says image
Image: ZGPhotography / Shutterstock.com.

Business leaders have called for ‘meaningful decision-making powers’ to be devolved to local authorities to help boost left-behind regions.

A new report from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) says that local government needs more resource and powers around infrastructure planning and transport.

‘Central government should provide a strategy that devolved authorities can take a lead from; however meaningful decision-making powers should be transferred to local governments to maximise the economic potential of oft-forgotten regions,’ according to Local Economy Of The Future.

‘This frees up central government capacity to complete national infrastructure projects by distributing funding to the right levels and trusting local communities to take the lead.’

The BCC also called for a reform of business rates to incentivise the growth of small and medium sized firms.

Commenting on the report, BCC chair Martha Lane Fox said ‘the devolution of power and authority to those best placed to decide what works for their local economies has been too slow.’

She added: ‘In this digital age, and on the cusp of a new green industrial revolution, we must finally shift the balance. If we get this right, it will give our local economies, their businesses, and communities the best possible chance to thrive in the 21st Century.’ ?

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