Martin Ford 09 March 2021

Tear down devolution 'barriers,' APPG urges

Tear down devolution barriers, APPG urges image

Powers should be devolved to councils before reorganisation takes place, a new report has concluded.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Devolution argued it was now ‘extremely urgent’ to devolve responsibility for local economic growth and arrangements such as forming combined authorities ‘must not be a compulsory precursor to councils taking on new powers’.

Its report published today recommended the creation of a ‘national devolution baseline’ for England, with a list of new powers available to every council.

Priorities for new powers should be around tax-setting, employment and skills, and healthcare commissioning.

The report was critical of Whitehall acting as a ‘barrier’ and argued devolution should be a ‘default position’.

It said that to level up regions it was necessary to ‘turbo charge the powers of local areas’.

The report called for a ‘devolution taskforce’ to be established to enable discussion between national and local government on progress.

It also suggested the creation of ‘local Public Accounts Committees’ or ‘regional select committees’ under which local leaders could ‘hold government departments accountable'.

Local Government Association chairman, Cllr James Jamieson, said the report showed devolution must go ‘further and faster’.

He added: ‘Parliamentarians should now unite to ensure the Government’s upcoming devolution and recovery White Paper brings forward at pace a new devolution settlement for England, led by councils and their local communities.’

Speaking ahead of the report’s publication, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham suggested his stand-off with Downing Street over COVID-19 restrictions may affect the White Paper.

He said: ‘I’m becoming less optimistic about it.

'Just because I stood up to the Government for Greater Manchester last year, it would be very disappointing if Whitehall thought we are not having people doing that, therefore we are pulling back on devolution.’

The Government has been approached for comment.

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Roadworker Ganger (Civils)

City of York Council
£21,989 to £24,447
City of York Council are looking for a number of Roadworker Gangers to join its Highways Capital Projects Team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Mental Health Recovery Worker

City of York Council
£22,374 to £24,875
We are looking for a motivated team player to join our team providing supported housing for adults with mental health needs York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Assistant Housing Policy Officer

City of York Council
£25,380 - £27,541
This post offers an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic individual to support the policy and strategy team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Health, Safety & Wellbeing Advisor

Leicestershire County Council
£33,558
Working for our traded service we work with clients in education, county, district and parish councils. Leicester, Leicestershire / Hybrid
Recuriter: Leicestershire County Council

Social Worker

Leicestershire County Council
£25,932 - £36,231
Here at Leicestershire County Council, we now have exciting opportunities for both experienced and newly qualified Social Workers. 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.