Progress on devolution in England Contents

3The role of central government

18.For devolution to be expanded, and to succeed, it needs support by central government. This includes the need for the Government to set out a clear purpose or set of purposes for devolution. There also needs to be a negotiation process that produces a successful outcome for all concerned and draws in the wider public. This would contrast with the failure of various previous negotiations which our predecessor committee highlighted in its 2016 report.46 This chapter considers the purpose of devolution, and how far Whitehall is committed to English devolution. It then explores how the negotiation process can be improved. Finally, it examines the case for whether and in what form the Government should create a devolution framework.

The purpose of devolution

19.Our predecessor committee’s 2016 report into devolution in England urged the then Government to clarify the aims of devolution, and to set out a clear hierarchy for what devolution is seeking to achieve and how the proposed form of devolution will achieve its objectives.47 The Government’s response emphasised supporting local places “to identify and achieve their own objectives”. It did then stress its interest in proposals from local areas for devolution deals which supported local economic growth and productivity; which improved the “alignment, coordination, and efficiency of public services”; and which supported “engagement with local democratic decision-making.”48

20.In its September 2019 submission to this inquiry, MHCLG said that it had laid out clear aims for devolution in 2015:

there are four interconnected aims of English devolution–to boost economic growth, to increase public service efficiency, to improve Britain’s weak productivity, and to rebalance the economy, including strengthening further the Northern Powerhouse and backing other pan regional corridors.49

21.However, other evidence we received disputed that devolution had clear aims. The initial focus had been on bolstering economic growth,50 with combined authorities having a strategic focus.51 But it had become “an ad hoc, incremental and piecemeal episode of decentralisation” with multiple rationales advanced to justify it.52 We heard that different aims “require different approaches and each have their own implications. This lack of clarity of purpose has undermined the [devolution] deals and caused confusion.”53 It was also argued that the purpose of devolution will affect its geography. Devolution to enhance economic growth, bolster democracy, service provision or administrative convenience would have “different geographic bases”.54

22.We received various different possible rationales for devolution. That devolution arrangements should reflect local identities was manifested in the call by the political party, Mebyon Kernow, for a Cornish National Assembly.55 It was also stressed that devolution needed to reflect geographies people identified with, to ensure devolution enjoys popular support.56 A second rationale focused on economic growth. There were mixed views about how far existing evidence substantiates the belief that devolution brings greater economic growth. The National Audit Office (NAO) stated the evidence for improvement is “mixed and inconclusive.”57 However, it was thought that improving cities with devolution arrangements would also benefit neighbouring areas.58 Those who focused on economic growth as the core purpose of devolution often thought the boundaries of devolved areas should reflect the economic geography.59 Opinions were also divided over whether a focus on economic growth was as appropriate for devolution to rural areas as for urban.60 One reason for the focus on economic growth is to aid levelling up—the reduction of inequalities, particular economic disparities, between different areas of England. The CBI declared that the “purpose of devolution” was “unlocking regional growth”,61 with local knowledge leading to appropriate policies for the locality.62 This was balanced by worries that further devolution would reduce redistribution of funds and leave poor areas worse off;63 or would be purely symbolic.64 Another rationale was that devolution would improve the delivery of public services in local areas, enabling an outcomes-based approach, utilising local knowledge and breaking down the siloes of government departments.65 Finally, devolution was also presented as a way of reenergising local government and local democracy, bringing decisions closer to the voter.66 It was also suggested that devolution could and should serve multiple purposes.67

23.Alongside these rationales there were clear expressions of the principles that should underlie devolution. These included a move away from a ‘take it or leave it’ approach to devolution to one where there was a “clear commitment from government that it believes fundamentally in the benefits of devolution.”68 Furthermore, Sheffield City Region Combined Authority stated that “Devolution is not an event. It’s a journey.”69 This was echoed in statements that “devolution is a process as well as a principle” which required partnership with elected Mayors, local government, businesses and other stakeholders.70 Sustainable devolution “should be bottom up and not top down.”71

24.Devolution across the United Kingdom has been pursued for different purposes, and its scope, structure, and geography reflect this. There needs to be clarity on the most important purposes of English devolution. This can then guide discussions on the appropriate geography and institutions that are needed. The Government should clearly outline what it considers to be the purpose(s) of devolution and why those are the right ends for which devolution is the means. It should then consult widely with stakeholders and the public on its proposed purposes. Careful consideration should particularly be given to the purpose of combined authorities and the appropriate boundaries for them to have.

Whitehall and English devolution

25.Our predecessor committee’s 2016 report urged that devolution should be seen “as of right, not subject to the fluctuating enthusiasm of central government”. To embed a culture of devolution in all Government departments the committee recommended that the Government’s annual report on devolution, introduced by the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016,72 “should be prepared with input from a wide range of Departments”, and should include a section where local authorities “report back on the Government’s commitment to devolution and rating their experience of different Departments.”.73 Although annual reports have been published, they do not include the views of local authorities.74

26.Our submissions generally painted a mixed picture of the levels of support for devolution found in different government departments. We heard that devolution deals before 2016 were achieved through “very strong … leadership at a political level, with Cabinet clout.”75 Subsequently Brexit and covid-19 were cited as having caused a slowdown in the evolution and extension of devolution.76 The current combined authorities were described as a “half-hearted project” that central government “regard as experiments, that many in London would appear not to care whether they succeed or fail.”77 The Local Government Association (LGA) explained that after 2016:

While Ministers in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) continue to support and promote the deals, engagement with other Government departments has fragmented. This has led to a shift away from a joined-up Whitehall response to promoting local growth and public service reform, and towards a transactional model between national departments and individual devolution areas focused on funding and powers. In general, the approach to those areas with deals already secured has developed a more pronounced focus on medium term viability and short-term delivery.78

27.We heard that different government departments displayed starkly differing levels of commitment to devolution, resulting in uneven rates of devolution in different policy areas, and causing negotiations to be siloed and inflexible.79 Departments praised for their engagement were MHCLG, the Department of Health and Social Care, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Transport.80 By contrast, there was criticism of the lack of engagement by the Department for Education and the Department for Work and Pensions.81 These differing levels of engagement are significant because MHCLG, BEIS, Education and the Treasury were singled out as the crucial departments for devolution.82 A wish was also voiced for greater involvement from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and from the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.83

28.The NAO reported fears that the Cities and Local Growth Unit within MHCLG, despite increases in staffing levels, lacked the capacity to negotiate and implement multiple devolution deals simultaneously and to maintain momentum for devolution across Whitehall without senior political commitment to it.84

Covid-19

29.It was also feared that the covid-19 pandemic could delay the further extension of devolution:

There is a risk of capacity in central Government to want to push ahead with something like devolution when there is so much else that they will need to be dealing with. We saw a similar thing happening when Brexit rather steered us off course.85

30.We heard mixed views over whether combined authorities had been particularly successful in responding to the pandemic.86 There was however uniform praise for the response of local government as a whole.87 It was stressed it will play an important role in the economic and social recovery.88 Furthermore, there was strong criticism of central government, with its “over-centralised system of governance” seen to have been “found wanting in several ways” in responding to the crisis.89

31.The enthusiasm for devolution in central government was also thought to have diminished following the controversy, particularly in October 2020 in Greater Manchester, over implementing different tiers of restrictions in different parts of England.90 David Williams, the then leader of Hertfordshire County Council, commented that “I am really concerned the wind has been taken out of the Government’s sails on this.”91 Subsequently, the Prime Minister has emphasised his support for devolution and its link to ‘levelling up’.92

Interactions with central government

32.Opinions were divided over how satisfactory devolved areas’ interactions were with central government. The public affairs and communications agency DevoConnect quoted one mayoral office as stating: “The relationship with Departments is positive but still suffers from a client/master deficit.”93 The Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Leadership Board gave a balanced account. On the positive side it pointed to a number of good meetings and successes in achieving formal approval for the requests outlined in its New Frontiers document.94 However, in other cases requests for further devolution had been refused, with its rural geography being cited as the reason.95 We were also told other devolved authorities, notably Greater Manchester, had encountered problems, with “several cases of various kinds of policy that were made harder to deliver because of centrally demanded frameworks.”96 Greater Manchester Combined Authority explained there had been ongoing discussions with departments over the interpretation and spirit of aspects of its deals.97 James Palmer, the then Metro Mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, characterised the relationship as one as “for everything that we do, we have to go to teacher and ask if it can be done first.” Accordingly, power remained with MHCLG as “it holds our purse strings”, meaning “That makes it really difficult to plan ahead and to deliver across a wide remit of exceptional challenges.98

33.One way of breaking the siloed approach to devolution in Whitehall is departmental and ministerial reorganisation. Before the recent Cabinet reshuffle, oversight of English devolution rested with Luke Hall MP, the then minister of state for regional growth and local government, and not with the Secretary of State who had overall leadership and strategic direction of the department. This contrasted with other departments where the secretary of state also has specific policy responsibilities.99 At the time of agreeing this report it is not clear where that responsibility now sits. Proposals were advanced for a department of the English Regions,100 a department for devolution across the UK,101 or a secretary of state leading on devolution.102 Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, whose ministerial responsibilities during the Coalition Government had included decentralisation and cities, recounted his belief that the minister needed to be in the Cabinet Office close to the Prime Minister, thereby exercising sway over the whole breadth of government.103 Andrew Walker, Head of Research at the Local Government Information Unit responded by arguing:

I would even ask the question of what the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government is for if it is not to play that role, to progress devolution, to be promoting the agenda across Government and to be out there in the regions.104

34.We heard other proposals to bolster devolution. These included establishing an “Independent Advisory Board to assess and advise on devolution deals against the published framework.”105 We heard arguments for a mayoral council that could meet with the Prime Minister at least twice a year, both providing additional scrutiny of central government and publicly showing the Government’s commitment to devolution.106 There was also a proposal for greater regional cooperation between combined authorities which would “have a ministerial champion and report to a parliamentary committee”.107

35.To embed devolution at the heart of central government the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities should be responsible for vigorously driving forward English devolution and this should be explicitly stated as one of his responsibilities. Our predecessor committee’s recommendation of permitting local authorities to report on their interactions with different government departments in the annual report on devolution should be adopted to drive a culture of positive and proactive support across the whole of Whitehall for devolution. Furthermore, a council of all areas with devolution deals should be established and hold meetings at least twice a year with the Prime Minister.

Negotiations

Criteria for devolution

36.In 2016 our predecessor committee expressed grave concern about the manner in which devolution deals had been negotiated. It expressed unease about the capacity of government to handle the different bids it was receiving. It argued that better engagement with the pubic throughout the negotiating process was needed, and that greater openness was needed about the offers, counter-offers, and the deal. The Government was urged to “publish the criteria it uses to assess and agree proposals so local areas can refer to these when drawing up their devolution bid.”108 The Government disagreed that there should assessment criteria for deals, arguing that “there is no blueprint for devolution proposals”. Accordingly, it argued that governance arrangements needed to be appropriate for the powers devolved, but each deal would be unique.109

37.Subsequent government comments have diverged from this statement. We were told that the One Yorkshire proposals (for a devolution deal covering the whole of Yorkshire) had been rejected by the Government because they “do not meet our devolution criteria”,110 without such a criteria having been published.111 On several occasions in the last two and a half years ministers have referred to a “criteria for devolution” in Parliament.112

Transparency and public engagement with devolution negotiations

38.We also wanted to know whether there had been improvements in the transparency of and levels of public engagement with the negotiating process. Due to the slowdown in the momentum of devolution since 2017, much of our evidence concentrated on the negotiations of 2015–17. It was argued that deals had been prevented by party politics and disputes over geography.113 Other complaints voiced about those negotiations were their secretive nature, the lack of focus and cohesion in government,114 the lack of clear responses from government, the absence “criteria for success”, alongside the excessive pace of negotiations and insistence on a directly elected mayor.115 The LGA proposed that further governance arrangements should be bottom-up, led by councils.116

39.Commentary on more recent negotiations suggested little had changed. In its evidence, the Home Builders Federation complained that it was unclear to the public why there had been delays to the agreement of the devolution for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.117 The consultation on the 2020 Sheffield City Region devolution deal was also criticised. It took place after the deal has been struck, with little public engagement or understanding, and the consultation was dismissed as a box ticking exercise.118 The consequence of this lack of public engagement is that negotiations for devolution remain “organisations that are too big—councils, collections of councils and Government—talking to each other, and the public have fallen through the gap.”119

40.Consequently, it appears that “putting it charitably, [there is] limited public awareness of combined authorities and their roles.”120 We heard various proposals for enhancing public engagement. These included using citizens’ assemblies,121 alongside greater councillor interaction with their constituents, and enhanced use of social media in discussing and publicising devolution.122 Public engagement ahead of negotiations with central government could help fashion a negotiating mandate for those local and combined authorities.123

41.The lack of transparency and public engagement in the negotiation of devolution deals have not been addressed since our predecessor committee’s 2016 report. Both have remained minimal. We reiterate our predecessor committee’s recommendation that there should be greater efforts to engage the public before as well as after negotiations, through consultations, citizens assemblies and better publicity. To ensure that local councils use their limited resources on compiling proposals with a chance of being accepted, the Government should also publish the criteria it uses to assess and agree proposals.

Devolution framework

42.In October 2019 the then Secretary of State, the Rt. Hon Robert Jenrick MP, told our predecessor Committee that a forthcoming devolution White Paper would:

[ … ] provide a framework for devolution and decentralisation across England, which will not be limited to what we might offer to those parts of the country that want to come forward and do what is now, as I say, quite a well-established model of having a mayor and a combined authority. The level of powers and responsibilities will obviously vary depending on the degree of reform and accountability that areas of the country want to embrace.124

43.This idea of a devolution framework was one we pursued throughout our inquiry. We wanted to assess its merits compared to the current ‘deal’ approach, and to clarify what the framework should contain and what its purpose should be. Although the framework has not yet been published, the LGA reported that their “soundings” with the government had “suggested a familiar, transactional approach to devolution, with local areas encouraged to bid for a centrally determined set of powers in exchange for some degree of governance reform.”125

44.There were defenders of the current approach of ad hoc negotiations between central government and areas seeking devolution. These included De Montfort University, which warned that a national framework could “create a one-size-fits-all approach to what should be a locally driven process. Any framework … should be light touch and advisory only.” The insistence on directly elected mayors was cited as evidence of where a one-size-fits-all approach had frustrated devolution in the past.126 Dr John Stanton, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of London, agreed the bespoke element of devolution deals “is their primary selling point” and “one of their greatest strengths”.127 He argued a framework “cannot be too detailed” nor should it “be too top-down”; and that bespoke deals “should be protected in any further alterations”.128 Colin Copus, Emeritus Professor of Local Politics at De Montfort University, argued the framework would inevitably be both detailed and top-down, and feared it would drive undesirable local government reorganisation. Instead he favoured “some form of basic silver, gold and platinum package of devolution”. The silver would apply to all local authorities, and “Above that are different tiers of devolution that you can buy into if you get the support from a collection of local authorities.”129 Greg Clark MP argued a bespoke approach was needed “to reflect what the local areas want”. However, he distinguished between “devolution as a blanket policy” where every local authority received a particular policy responsibility, and a framework where local authorities might need to produce a plan for government, who could then judge whether the authority could succeed if that policy area was devolved.130

45.Some submissions recognised both the advantages of a framework whilst voicing concerns about aspects of it. Cllr James Jamieson, Chair of the LGA, emphasised that he would support a framework which was clear and bottom-up; but feared it would “top-down” and ambiguous. Moreover, there needed to be less focus on structures, than on “the underlying function, which is to get improvements to our communities through devolving powers”. Cllr Jamieson disagreed with Greg Clark’s idea of central government determining whether an area was ready for devolution, opining that this approach would lead to nothing being devolved at all and saying that “An alternative would be to say that Whitehall needs to justify why you should not be able to do it.”131 Similarly, the Centre for Public Scrutiny noted a lack of details—such as whether a bespoke element would be retained—made it hard to comment on the framework idea. It argued a framework could lead to consistency that would aid negotiations; but worried it would “lead to limitations in flexibility” and create “unequal negotiating positions between Government and local areas.” Their solution was that local government should be consulted and should need to agree to the framework for it to proceed.132

46.The majority of our submissions supported some form of a devolution framework. The two metro mayors who appeared before us approved of the idea,133 as did Greater Manchester Combined Authority.134 Abdool Kara, Executive Leader on Local Services at the NAO, argued that “The sector is crying out for the devolution framework to give everybody a starting point to work from and to buy in or at least expose those Government Departments that are not at the table.”135 The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) North argued that “Setting a clear framework, based on principles and not on rules, is key to ensure the effectiveness of the devolution agenda in the long term.”136

What should a devolution framework look like?

47.Proposals for a devolution framework had several core themes. Professor Francesca Gains, Professor of Public Policy at the University of Manchester, supported “a clear statement in presumption of devolution”, with clarity about the potential and requirements (in terms of capacity and evidence needed) for further devolution.137 This wish for a basic criteria for devolution, which expressed the principles underpinning it, was found elsewhere, alongside a wish for clarity on the geographical scope of devolution.138 Secondly, there were calls for the framework to build in flexibility and to be locally-led, to put in place mechanisms for deciding on local priorities and how they would relate to national priorities.139 Thirdly, the framework should also ensure “scrutiny and oversight of the design of the negotiating process” including enabling a range of viewpoints to contribute to negotiations.140 The CBI proposed an independent advisory board to assess new deals against the framework.141 Fourthly, the framework should explain how ongoing scrutiny of the delivery of devolution would work.142 A fifth idea, was “a menu of choices” produced by local and central government, 143 as part of “a stepping-stone approach” with devolution being extended at the pace right for the local area. 144 Centre for Cities proposed that “a clearer and more straightforward approach” would involve using the ‘reserved powers’ model used for devolution to Scotland, whereby on those powers not being devolved are specified and all others are automatically devolved.145

48.We approve of the principle of a devolution framework. It will provide clarity as to what is available for devolution. The Government should work with local government and other stakeholders to produce a devolution framework. To succeed, the framework must provide flexibility and be grounded in a comprehensive consultation with stakeholders to avoid being a top-down imposition from central onto local government. It should include a set of principles committing the Government to devolution as an evolving process with a forward direction. Devolution is not just about increasing the powers of combined authorities, but enhancing the powers of local government as a whole. A key principle should be that devolution is the default option unless there is a good and compelling reason why a policy area should not be devolved. The Government should consider following the model used for the devolved nations, where there is a list of reserved powers not available for devolution, with all other powers available for combined and local authorities. It should not be obligatory for any area to take on all of the available powers straightaway or at all. Furthermore, councils should also devolve to their local communities—devolution does not stop at the town hall door.

49.The Government has previously stated it wishes to ‘level up’ the powers of existing combined authorities to match those held by Greater Manchester, with the exception of health devolution.146 We were told that Greater Manchester’s model was not a panacea for everywhere;147 and instead stakeholders thought that “to ‘level up’ metro mayor powers for all combined authorities was a good idea”, and should precede a devolution framework.148

50.Instead of using Greater Manchester as a yardstick, all existing places with devolution deals should be offered the same powers as all others currently have. They may not choose to immediately take them up, but the option should be available.

46 Communities and Local Government Committee, First Report of Session 2015–16, Devolution: the next five years and beyond, HC 369, paras 51-56

47 Communities and Local Government Committee, First Report of Session 2015–16, Devolution: the next five years and beyond, HC 369, para 18

48 Department of Communities and Local Government, Government Response to CLG Select Committee Report: “Devolution: the next five years and beyond”Cm 9291, May 2016, p 6

49 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (PDE0033)

50 De Montfort University (PDE0003), Dr John Stanton (PDE0007), British Academy (PDE0008), Local Government Association (PDE0011), National Audit Office (PDE0024), Q2 (Colin Copus, Emeritus Professor in Local Politics, De Montfort University), Q57 (Abdool Kara, Executive Leader on Local Services, National Audit Office)

51 Q65 (Ed Hammond, Director, Centre for Public Scrutiny), Q78 (Abdool Kara, National Audit Office), Q169 (James Palmer, Metro Mayor, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority)

52 Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University, UK (PDE0006)

53 British Academy (PDE0008). See also Q166 (Jamie Driscoll, Metro Mayor, North of Tyne Combined Authority)

54 British Academy (PDE0008), IPPR North (PDE0023)

55 Mebyon Kernow (PDE0009)

56 Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University, UK (PDE0006), British Academy (PDE0008), IPPR North (PDE0023), Q190 (David Williams, Leader, Hertfordshire County Council)

57 National Audit Office (PDE0024). See also Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University, UK (PDE 0006)

58 National Audit Office (PDE0024), Q24 (Colin Copus, De Montfort University)

59 Centre for Cities (PDE0030), Q157 (Jamie Driscoll, Metro Mayor, North of Tyne Combined Authority)

60 Francesca Gains believed there was cross-over of purpose between areas: Q9 (Francesca Gains, University of Manchester); whereas John Stanton thought transport links, supporting small and local businesses, and service delivery was paramount in rural areas: Dr John Stanton (PDE0007)

61 CBI (PDE0031). See also British Chambers of Commerce (PDE0029)

62 Policy Connect (POD0016)

63 British Academy (PDE0008)

64 UK2070 Commission (POD0012)

65 Centre for Cities (PDE0030), Cumbria Council (PDE0035), DevoConnect (POD0006), Q61 (Ed Hammond, Centre for Public Scrutiny), Q115 (Kate Kennally, Chief Executive, Cornwall Council), Q200, Q202, Qq231–232 (James Jamieson, Chair, Local Government Association). See also Rt Hon Baroness Armstrong of Hill Top, Chair of the House of Public Services Committee, to the Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, Prime Minister, 20 May 2021

66 Centre for London (PDE0018), UNISON (POD0008), Q2 (Francesca Gains, University of Manchester), Q3, Q49 (Colin Copus, De Montfort University), Q48 (John Stanton, University of London), Q237 (James Jamieson, Local Government Association)

67 UNISON (POD0008), UK2070 Commission (POD0012), Q166 (Jamie Driscoll, Metro Mayor, North of Tyne Combined Authority)

68 Centre for Cities (PDE0030)

69 Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (PDE0016)

70 DevoConnect (POD0006). See also Q67 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit)

71 Kent Association of Local Councils (POD0011). See also Local Government Association (POD0014)

73 Communities and Local Government Committee, First Report of Session 2015–16, Devolution: the next five years and beyond, HC 369, paras 44-45

74 Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Secretary of State’s Annual Report on Devolution 2016–17, January 2018; Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Secretary of State’s Annual Report on Devolution 2017–18, March 2019; Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Secretary of State’s Annual Report on Devolution 2018–19, April 2020; Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Secretary of State’s Annual Report on Devolution 2019–20, March 2021

75 Q203 (Lord Kerslake, Chair, UK 2070 Commission). See also Q204 (James Jamieson, Local Government Association), Q207 (Greg Clark MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Committee)

76 Core Cities (PDE0012), IPPR North (PDE0023), Centre for Cities (PDE0030), Q152 (James Palmer, Metro Mayor, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority)

77 Cambridge City Council (PDE0026)

78 Local Government Association (PDE0011)

79 Greater Manchester Combined Authority (PDE0032). See also CBI (PDE0031)

80 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Leadership Board (PDE0014), Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (PDE0016), Q207 (Greg Clark MP)

81 Q151 (Jamie Driscoll, Metro Mayor, North of Tyne Combined Authority), Q207 (Greg Clark MP), Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (PDE0016)

82 Q21 (Francesca Gains, University of Manchester)

83 Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (PDE0016)

84 National Audit Office (PDE0024)

85 Q57 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit)

86 Q53 (Abdool Kara, National Audit Office), Q57 (Ed Hammond, Centre for Public Scrutiny), Q57 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit), Q109 (Bill McCarthy, North West Regional Director, NHS England/NHS Improvement)

87 Q100 (Mike Short, UNISON), (Simon Parkinson, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Workers’ Educational Association), (Jim Hubbard, Head of Regional Policy, CBI), Q109 (Helen Charlesworth-May, Strategic Director of Public Health and Care at Cornwall Council & Accountable Officer at Kernow Clinical Commissioning Group), (Kate Kennally, Cornwall Council), Q205 (James Jamieson, Chair, Local Government Association), Professor Francesca Gains (POD0009)

88 Q54 (Ed Hammond, Centre for Public Scrutiny), Q57 (Abdool Kara, National Audit Office), Q179 (Amy Harhoff, Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth, Durham County Council), Q234 (James Jamieson, Local Government Association), Britain’s Leading Edge (POD0007), Professor Francesca Gains (POD0009)

89 Q55 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit), Q56 (Abdool Kara, National Audit Office)

90 Q204 (Greg Clark MP), “Covid: Greater Manchester to move to tier 3 restrictions from Friday”, BBC News Website, 20 October 2020

91 Q179, Q182 (David Williams, Hertfordshire Council)

92 Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street, The Prime Minister’s Levelling Up speech: 15 July 2021, 15 July 2021

93 DevoConnect (POD0006)

94 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Leadership Board, New Frontiers: An inclusive approach to an economy, environment and society that works for everyone in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, (April 2018)

95 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Leadership Board (PDE0014)

96 Q62 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit)

97 Greater Manchester Combined Authority (PDE0032)

98 Q170 (James Palmer, Metro Mayor, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority)

99 Cabinet Office, List of Ministerial Responsibilities, March 2021, p 19

100 Lord Heseltine, Empowering English Cities, (July 2019), p 60, UK2070 Commission (PDE0020)

101 Q206 (Lord Kerslake, UK2070 Commission)

102 DevoConnect (POD0006)

103 Q206 (Greg Clark MP)

104 Q79 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit)

105 CBI (PDE0031)

106 Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (PDE0016), CBI (PDE0031), Q79 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit)

107 UK2070 Commission (PDE0020). See also DevoConnect (POD0006)

108 Communities and Local Government Committee, First Report of Session 2015–16, Devolution: the next five years and beyond, HC 369, paras 49, 53, 56

109 Department of Communities and Local Government, Government Response to CLG SelectCommittee Report: “Devolution: the next five years and beyond”, CM 9291, May 2016, p 12

110 HL Deb, 10 February 2020, col 2069 (Lords Chamber), HL Deb, 24 July 2020, col 2517 (Lords Chamber)

111 Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University, UK (PDE 0006)

112 HL Debate, 10 February 2020, col 2069. See also HC Debate, 6 March 2019, col 957 (Commons Chamber), HL Debate, 11 February 2020, col 2070 (Lords Chamber), HL Debate, 24 July 2020, col 2517 (Lords Chamber)

113 De Montfort University (PDE0003), British Academy (PDE0008), IPPR North (PDE0023), Cambridge City Council (PDE0026), County Council Network (PDE0028)

114 CBI (PDE0031). See also Centre for Public Scrutiny (PDE0002)

115 Local Government Association (PDE0011). See also Q73 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit)

116 Local Government Association (POD0014)

117 Home Builders Federation (POD0013)

118 IPPR North (PDE0023). See also Sunderland City Council (PDE0015), Mr Richard Styles (POD0003), Q34 (John Stanton, University of London)

119 Q35 (Colin Copus, De Montfort University)

120 Q58 (Ed Hammond, Centre for Public Scrutiny)

121 Q34 (Francesca Gains, University of Manchester), UK2070 Commission (PDE0020)

122 Q36 (Colin Copus, De Montfort University)

123 Q217 (Greg Clark MP), Q218 (Lord Kerslake, UK2070 Commission). See also Kent Association of Local Councils (POD0011)

124 Oral evidence taken on 28 October 2019, HC (2019) 24, Q85 (Robert Jenrick MP)

125 Local Government Association (POD0014). See also Q46 (Francesca Gains, University of Manchester)

126 De Montfort University (PDE0003). See also British Academy (PDE0008)

127 Dr John Stanton (PDE0007). See also Local Government Association (PDE0011)

128 Q19 (John Stanton, University of London)

129 Q19 (Colin Copus, De Montfort University)

130 Q209, Q211 (Greg Clark MP)

131 Qq209–210 (James Jamieson, Local Government Association)

132 Centre for Public Scrutiny (PDE0002)

133 Q158 (Jamie Driscoll, Metro Mayor, North of Tyne Combined Authority), (James Palmer, Metro Mayor, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority)

134 Greater Manchester Combined Authority (PDE0032)

135 Q80 (Abdool Kara, National Audit Office)

136 IPPR North (PDE0023). See also Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University, UK (PDE0006), Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Leadership Board (PDE0014), UK2070 Commission (PDE0020), County Council Network (PDE0028), Cumbria Council (PDE0035), UK2070 Commission (POD0012), Policy Connect (POD0016)

137 Q19 (Francesca Gains, University of Manchester)

138 Q67 (Ed Hammond, Centre for Public Scrutiny), Core Cities (PDE0012), IPPR North (PDE0023)

139 Q67 (Andrew Walker, Local Government Information Unit), Sunderland City Council (PDE0015), Sheffield City Region Combined Authority (PDE0016), Centre for London (PDE0018), IPPR North (PDE0023)

140 Centre for Public Scrutiny (PDE0002)

141 CBI (PDE0031)

142 Centre for Public Scrutiny (PDE0002), CBI (PDE0031)

143 Q211 (Lord Kerslake, UK2070 Commission), Core Cities (PDE0012)

144 Q211 (Lord Kerslake, UK2070 Commission), Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University, UK (PDE0006), UK2070 Commission (POD0012)

145 Centre for Cities (PDE0030)

146 Jenrick confirms no health devo in ‘levelled up’ deals”, Local Government Chronicle, 2 October 2019

147 De Montfort University (PDE0003), British Academy (PDE0008), Q166 (James Palmer, Metro Mayor, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority)

148 DevoConnect (POD0006)




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