Progress on devolution in England Contents


The last five years have seen a considerable extension of devolution in England. From a situation where there was only devolution to London, a series of devolution deals have spread devolution from the Isles of Scilly to the Tweed. But devolution is not everywhere; instead it is predominantly concentrated in urban areas.

For devolution to be expanded, and to succeed, it needs support by central government.

Devolution must be undertaken with the involvement of the people in the area where devolution is taking place. A weakness of past devolution in England has been the limited consultation with the public, especially prior to negotiations taking place. That needs to be put right. The local public should also be consulted on whether devolution should include having a directly elected mayor.

Financial devolution is necessary to ensure the success of devolution.

In respect of funding, the principle of devolution funding should be that grants are given on a block basis to cover all services for which local and combined authorities have oversight, without ringfencing or competitive bidding. The Government should also bring forward as soon as possible its proposals for how the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will work.

We believe there should be further devolution to local government across a range of policy areas.

Published: 1 October 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement