Laura Sharman 15 May 2015

'One size does not fit all' for devolution plans

One size does not fit all for devolution plans image

The Government has been warned against adopting a ‘one size fits all’ devolution model, with the sector highlighting the needs of local areas in response to the Cities Devolution Bill.

While many in the local government sector have welcomed the extra powers offered in exchange for a change in governance, concerns over the limitations and risks of the plans have emerged.

The Local Government Association (LGA) urged the Government to ensure all areas benefit from extra freedoms and flexibilities, not just the major cities. Cllr David Sparks, chair of the LGA, all parts of the country ‘need greater freedom from Whitehall’.

‘We are now urging government to go further and set out a new settlement for all of England which devolves decisions on important issues like skills, housing, transport, care and infrastructure,’ he said. ‘This is vital if the economy is to prosper and good quality public services are to survive.’

The director general of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Nick Baveystock, added: ‘Government must therefore resist the desire for standardisation and instead be guided by the needs, ambition and capacity of each area. Local areas also need to rise to the challenge – demonstrating how they will make the best use of powers and contribute to UK wide goals.’

IPPR North agreed that smaller towns and cities are a crucial part of devolution and can help drive region’s growth is they ‘share in the benefits of new powers and prosperity’.

IPPR North director, Ed Cox, said: ‘We have long argued metro mayors are vital to build visible leadership and democratic accountability necessary for the more radical devolution of taxation and spending we want to see. But even in this arena, the chancellor needs to recognise that there is no one-size-fits-all model for metro mayors.’

The Federation for Small Businesses (FSB) also warned that rural areas should not be ‘bypassed’ when reallocating power and resources.

John Allan, FSB national chairman, said: ‘There are lessons to be learnt from the setting up of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) which should not be ignored. Increased localism doesn't automatically lead to better outcomes. This requires strong governance arrangements to ensure accountability, transparency and local small business engagement.’

He added that the FSB did not support local variation in business rates as this could lead to confusion or increased costs for businesses.

Highways jobs

Air Quality Monitoring Project Manager

Birmingham City Council
£34,788 - £42,683
Seeking a skilled and dedicated individual with a background in environmental protection and air quality to... Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Inclusive Economy Project Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360 per annum
Looking for people who are clever, curious and compassionate but could come from a variety of backgrounds including... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Museums Duty Manager

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 5 - Starting at £22,494 per annum and rising to £24,789
Chelmsford Museum is seeking an enthusiastic Duty Manager to support the Assistant Museums Manager by providing duty management and key holder resp... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Group Manager – No Wrong Door

North Yorkshire County Council
£48,000 to £55,840 p.a.
We are looking for a Group Manager to join North Yorkshire County Council to play a key role in delivering our No Wrong Door Programme Various locations
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Head of Strategic Investment & Assets

Braintree District Council
Up to £85K
Are you ready to do things on a far bigger scale? Braintree, Essex
Recuriter: Braintree District Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine