A think-tank has urged councils to use new devolved powers from Westminster to help tackle poverty and inequality.
In a report published by the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES), entitled The Local Double Dividend, the think-tank calls for a ‘double devolution’ approach to help tackle the root causes of poverty and regional variations in the economy.
The report recommends using public sector procurement to help deliver social and economic change, as well as a new role for councils to help promote local economies.
It highlights the work of several councils, which the report states are already promoting social and economic change, including Camden LBC, which includes social, environmental and economic impacts in its commissioning process.
‘Local government is battered by austerity and clearly needs to free itself from a failing economic and social model,’ said CLES chief executive, Neil McInroy.
‘It must take any devolution which comes its way and demand more. It’s time for an enabled and empowered local state working with social and business partners to forge a new local social contract.
‘A contract which delivers a double dividend of both economic success and social justice,’ added Mr McInroy.