Respect and Co-operation: Building a Stronger Union for the 21st century Contents

Chapter 7: The governance of England

226.Over the last decade there has been an increasing focus on the role and powers of local government in England. We have previously noted that: “The English Question encompasses both concerns about the representation of England within the Union, and about the devolution or decentralisation of power within England”. In 2016, just after EVEL had been introduced and when metro mayors were a relatively new concept, we concluded that it was “too soon to know whether EVEL and the ‘devolution deals’, separately or in combination, will provide an answer to the English Question. What is clear is that the English Question remains one of the central unresolved issues facing decision-makers grappling with the UK’s territorial constitution.”294 Witnesses told us that addressing the English Question was key to strengthening the Union, and that any reforms to how England is governed will affect the governance of the entire UK.295

227.We have considered the introduction of the EVEL procedure, and its repeal, in Chapter 4. We have previously concluded that the creation of an English parliament would introduce a destabilising asymmetry of power to the Union and was not a viable option for the future governance of England.296 Following the failed attempt to establish a regional assembly for the north east of England in 2004, there is clearly limited political support for pursuing regional devolution within England. However, devolution to combined or county authorities appears to command a degree of cross-party support within England.

Representation of England in the Union

228.Some witnesses noted the ‘dual-hatted’ roles of the UK Government and Parliament in governing and legislating for both the UK and England, including the confusion this sometimes created during the response to COVID-19.297 However, Professor Kenny said this had helped to raise awareness of the realities of devolution and the Union in the UK.298

229.Some supported a clearer distinction between these two roles.299 Professor Denham and Professor Gallagher both suggested a Cabinet Committee for England could be created.300 Philip Rycroft proposed creating a Minister for England and renaming some Government departments as explicitly English.301 Professor Denham thought a ‘First Minister for England’ could be established in due course, which may in turn lead to increasing demands for an English parliament.302 However, there was limited support for such an approach among other witnesses. Michael Gove told us he did not detect any discontent in England regarding the current arrangements, including its lack of a separate voice within the Union.303

230.England’s place in the Union should not be overlooked, but there are no obvious governance changes to provide England with a distinctive voice that command political and public support. Establishing an English parliament would crystallise England’s relative strength—in population and economic terms—vis a vis the existing devolved legislatures. This would destabilise the Union. It would also do little to address the need for greater decentralisation within England, which we believe has the greatest potential to resolve concerns about the governance of England.

Devolution within England

231.Unlike devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, devolution within England is based on the relationship between central and local government rather than a regional tier of government. Rather than executive and legislative devolution, it concerns the transfer of powers, budgets and responsibilities.

232.In 2000, following a referendum, the Greater London Authority (comprising a directly-elected mayor and a separately elected London Assembly) were established with limited powers of scrutiny, introducing an additional tier of government for the capital. In 2014 the first ‘devolution deal’ was concluded between the Government and Greater Manchester. This involved the devolution of some executive powers and funding to the local councils in that region (the ‘combined authorities’) on the condition that a directly-elected mayor was introduced. Since that date a further nine deals have been agreed, most of which cover the largest metropolitan areas in England.304 While these bodies may appear to be a reintroduction of the metropolitan county councils abolished during the Thatcher government, in practice they have a reduced remit and more limited revenue raising powers than their predecessor bodies.

233.The 2019 Conservative manifesto said: “Our ambition is for full devolution across England, building on the successful devolution of powers to city region mayors, police and crime Commissioners and others, so that every part of our country has the power to shape its own destiny.”305

234.Some witnesses remarked how centralised the UK and England were, compared with other countries.306 Professor Philip McCann told us that the UK has “probably the most centralised governance system of any OECD country” and described the local productivity variations in the UK as “absolutely extraordinary”.307

235.Witnesses advocated greater devolution from the UK Government to English devolved authorities.308 Some witnesses said the London model of governance should be extended across England, noting that London in effect has regional government, with greater devolved powers than anywhere else in England.309 Michael Gove was in favour of more power being exercised locally and supported the development of the metro mayors’ roles.310 Professor Denham was sceptical that Whitehall would ever be willing to devolve sufficient power, and said the current approach was more about pushing local areas to comply with the Government’s policy agenda.311

236.Councillor James Jamieson, the Chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), told us the default question should be “why should this [policy area] not be devolved?” rather than “why should this be devolved?”.312 Councillor Nick Forbes, the chair of LGA’s Labour group, said there were three arguments in favour of further devolution: improved democratic representation; better service delivery; and better economic outcomes.313 Drawing on international evidence, the Institute for Public Policy Research has concluded that further devolution in England, including the devolution of power to promote economic development, will lead to greater economic prosperity and inclusion being achieved in England’s regions.314

237.Councillor Forbes told us that local government is best placed to provide better quality and value for money services. After public health budgets were devolved to all upper-tier local authorities in 2013, he said, most local authorities have achieved “savings of a magnitude of one-quarter of the overall budget by recommissioning, reprocuring, joining things up at the local level and ensuring that there is a focus on prevention as well as good value for money.”315 Discussing the adult education budget, which has been devolved to a number of mayoral combined authorities, Councillor Forbes said his council had increased the number of learners despite having to top-slice a 10% share of the budget to cover overheads.316

238.Before it was disbanded in 2021 the Industrial Strategy Council317 said international comparisons indicated that strong local leadership and efficient governance are central to driving economic growth and reducing regional inequality. The Council identified five interdependent pillars of devolution—Political, Administrative, Fiscal, People and Places—and said that progressing these “has clear relevance for further sub-national devolution in the UK.” The Council also identified a lack of longevity, scale and policy coordination over time as a barrier to current devolution structures in England having more than a limited positive impact on local economies.318

239.While we focused on devolution within England, witnesses also commented on the lack of decentralisation in Scotland.319 In 2014, the Smith Commission said:

“There is a strong desire to see the principle of devolution extended further, with the transfer of powers from Holyrood to local communities … The Scottish Government should work with the Parliament, civic Scotland and local authorities to set out ways in which local areas can benefit from the powers of the Scottish Parliament”.320

240.England is highly centralised, with greater regional economic inequalities, compared to most other Western European countries. The English regions—as do Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland—feel remote from central decision making in the United Kingdom. We strongly support the development of devolution within England, noting that a highly centralised state can have a negative impact on democratic culture and economic prosperity. Greater devolution within England can help improve economic performance, address regional inequalities and improve service delivery.

241.We believe a greater degree of respect and partnership is required between the Government and sub-national government in England, as it is between the UK Government and the devolved administrations; per our recommendations in chapter 5.

242.Greater decentralisation will help to strengthen the governance of England more generally and achieve a better overall balance of powers between the centre and the other parts of the United Kingdom. This will benefit the overall health of the Union.

243.Like England, Scotland remains a highly centralised country, notwithstanding the substantial devolution of power to the Scottish Parliament. The benefits that may be achieved by greater decentralisation in England, could also apply in the Scottish context, as recommended by the Smith Commission.

Levelling up

244.The Government has committed to publishing a Levelling Up white paper, now postponed to January 2022.321 Michael Gove has suggested this will focus on four key areas: local leadership; living standards; public services; and “pride of place”.322 The Prime Minister has said the White Paper will include the extension of metro mayoral powers to county councils.323 A number of pilot county deals are expected to be announced alongside the publication of the White Paper. There has also been media speculation about the content of the White Paper. Reports have suggested that the White Paper will include the creation of a unitary local authorities in England;324 the creation of ‘governors’ in the counties, with areas opting for a directly elected mayor or governor being granted the most powers325 and that Local Enterprise Partnerships326 will be abolished and their powers transferred to local authorities.327

245.Several witnesses, including Rt Hon Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said the extension of devolution across England will be vital if the Government is successfully to tackle regional inequality and achieve its levelling up ambitions.328 Lord O’Neill of Gatley, Vice-Chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said there were tentative signs that early adopters of devolution in England had already improved their economic performance.329

246.The Institute for Government has said:

“The agreement and implementation of county deals will by necessity be a cross-departmental process. Depending on the precise proposals counties bring forth, the process is likely to involve not only DLUHC, but also the departments for transport, education, business, health and social care, and the environment. The success of this agenda will therefore depend on whether those leading the process have the political and administrative clout to drive action across Whitehall, which many in local government perceive to be instinctively sceptical about devolution.”330

247.Some witnesses emphasised a particular need for the Treasury to be more willing to grant autonomy to local areas, including allocating the required investment.331

248.Councillor Forbes and Councillor Jamieson also argued for a “whole-government approach” to levelling-up rather than a departmental one. Councillor Jamieson suggested that an ‘English devolution’ task force should be established to facilitate discussion between central and local government in making progress with devolution within England, saying it was important to “put councils at the heart of delivering the Government’s ambitious programme to improve opportunities in all parts of the country”. A similar model had been used, successfully, to coordinate a response to Brexit.332

249.Considering its importance, we regret the long delay in the publication of the Government’s Levelling Up white paper. We believe that the success of the Levelling Up agenda will require a long-term commitment, and cross-party support, to deliver effective and properly resourced devolution within England.

250.Effective joint working between Government departments, particularly the Treasury, and local government will be key to the effective delivery of the Levelling Up agenda, including the expansion of devolution across England. To this end, we believe the Local Government Association’s proposal to establish an English devolution task force to facilitate discussion between central and local government has considerable merit. We recommend that the Government explore further with local government how this might work in practice.

Public support for devolution within England

251.Some witnesses referred to evidence of growing public support for greater devolution of powers within England as well as the increasing profile of the metro mayors, including during the response to COVID-19.333

252.Professor Kenny noted the historical disconnect felt by English regions to London, which may have more to do with regional inequalities than constitutional complaints.334 Some witnesses thought the decentralisation of power in England was necessary to rebuild trust in government and tackle the alienation felt in “forgotten parts of England”.335 Andy Burnham saw it as an opportunity to give all parts of England a stronger voice and to nurture a “bottom-up”, place-based form of politics.336 Professor McLean thought a network of mayors across England could help respond to the “English question”.337 The Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place agreed.338

253.We note evidence of increasing public support for devolution within England, which is important ahead of its expansion. If effective devolution is achieved within England, to empower local government, we believe this will help to respond to concerns about the governance of England.

A framework for further devolution within England?

254.The beginning of English devolution has been based on a series of ad hoc devolution deals which, in the view of the LIPSIT Project, resulted in “huge complexities and inequalities in the various powers of different places.”339 The Heseltine Institute said that the deals-based approach to devolution is “hugely time consuming for local government officers and civil servants.”340

255.In our report The Union and devolution, while cautiously welcoming the devolution deals and noting they may address some concerns about centralisation of power in England, we noted that the Government was approaching English devolution in the same bilateral, reactive manner that it approached devolution to the nations. We warned that there seemed to be little consideration given to how this approach may affect the overall governance of England in the long term and recommended that the Government sets out where it envisaged the process of devolution deals would eventually lead.341

256.This ad hoc approach appeared to be confirmed by the Prime Minister’s levelling up speech in July 2021, which emphasised the Government will not adopt a “one size fits all” template for further devolution but will consider various options, including directly elected mayors for individual counties or the devolution of power for specific local purposes, such as improving bus services.342

257.The United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group and the Heseltine Institute both said a more consistent form of English devolution was required, including for county areas.343 The Local Government Association agreed, advocating “a model where all local authorities in England are able to access enhanced and locally customisable devolution powers”. They suggested this could be delivered through the introduction of a new English Devolution Baseline, setting out a list of powers available to all councils, with the flexibility over which of the powers being used are held at local rather than national level.344 The Institute for Government has also recommended that the Government publish a devolution framework setting out the parameters within which any new devolution deals for county areas will be agreed.345

258.However, some witnesses opposed a “one-size fits all approach” to English devolution, instead preferring a more flexible and bespoke approach.346 Lord O’Neill said that while greater symmetry was desirable it would be a mistake for this to become too stringent a requirement, as some areas may be better placed to make quicker progress than others.347 Councillor Forbes agreed that different levels of devolution should be available for different combined authorities depending on their “development, ambition and speed of delivery at a local level”.348

259.The current deals-based approach to devolution is not sufficiently ambitious. We recommend the Government develops a principled devolution framework, in co-operation with the Local Government Association and devolved authorities, to provide a clear baseline for further devolution of powers within England. This should allow devolved authorities to choose which powers they are capable of delivering and wish to adopt, and which should remain at the centre.

Capacity and capability

260.The historical centralisation of powers to Whitehall, has had a negative impact on the capacity and capability of local government. Councillor Forbes said it was “worth noting that local government has been the sector of public service delivery most affected by job losses throughout the decade of austerity, while we have seen modest growth in civil service numbers”.349 Lord O’Neill told us that many local authorities lacked the capability or resources to structure a request for devolved powers.350 The LIPSIT Project said the Government’s deal-based approach favoured local authorities with existing capacity.351 Councillor Jamieson and Councillor Forbes said that the current system of competitive bidding for multiple funding pots occupies a significant amount of local authority capacity that could be better deployed on delivering services.352 Speaking at the County Councils Network conference on 22 November 2021, Michael Gove reportedly acknowledged the number of funds needed to be rationalised.353

261.Witnesses also pointed to a lack of capacity in some local authorities to administer new devolved services, particularly in rural areas. Councillor Forbes acknowledged that capacity across local authorities is inconsistent and said that capacity considerations will have to be built into future devolution settlements. He told us that capacity and impact at the local level would be improved if civil service resources associated with devolved powers were redirected to local government.354

262.Professor Mitchell emphasised that local authorities need resources and capabilities when power is devolved to them, otherwise the process will only “dump problems” on them.355 The Industrial Strategy Council recommended that devolution should be a “staged process”, which gives institutions time to “develop, evolve and build capacity”.356

263.Some witnesses considered the requirement for elected mayors demonstrated the lack of flexibility in the current devolution model.357 Councillor Forbes was not convinced that the elected mayor model would operate well in a county area and urged broader discussions about alternative governance options. Councillor Jamieson agreed, arguing that mayors may be more suitable for some parts of the country compared to others and different models should be adopted for different places.358 Lord O’Neill preferred mayors as they were more accountable and provided additional weight to the voice of local areas in their interactions with central government.359

264.We recommend that to facilitate further devolution to devolved authorities in England the Government should provide them with adequate resources and support to build the necessary capacity to exercise additional powers, as well as the capability to deliver them. This will be critical to the successful extension of devolution within England to the counties.


265.The Industrial Strategy Council found that relationships between subnational institutions are most effective when boundaries are aligned and there is a clear division of labour and responsibilities. The Council highlighted the historically inconsistent approach to regional policy in England.360 Box 1 describes the different layers of sub-national government in England.

Box 1: Sub-national governance in England

  • 333 Local Authorities, including 24 county councils, 181 district councils, 58 unitary authorities, 36 metropolitan districts, 32 London boroughs, the City of London and the Isles of Scilly
  • 38 Local Enterprise Partnerships representing a wide spectrum of geographies include city-regions, single counties and multi-county areas, some of which are overlapping
  • 41 Police and Crime Commissioners, some of which have been subsumed into combined authority structures
  • 135 Clinical Commissioning Groups
  • 10 Combined Authorities, mainly covering metropolitan areas but also including the non-metro area of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and the partial metro area of North of the Tyne
  • 10 elected ‘metro’ mayors, including Greater London
  • Seven pan-regional transport bodies, including Transport for the North (which has statutory status) and Midlands Connect, England’s Economic Heartland and Transport for the South East (which do not have statutory status)

Source: Written evidence from the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place (FGU0055) and Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, ‘Local government structure and elections’ (19 October 2021): [accessed 17 January 2022]

266.The Industrial Strategy Council emphasised that governance structures should be “clear and streamlined and reflect the geographical and economic differences of places”.361 The Heseltine Institute agreed, telling us that “[k]ey factors to consider in the establishment of new combined authorities include local and regional identities, economic geography … and population size.”362 Councillor Forbes agreed, telling us that devolution is effective where there is “a functioning economic geography” and “a strong sense of local identity that people buy into”.363

267.The devolution framework should include steps to achieve greater coherence in England’s sub-national governance arrangements to improve democratic accountability. We recommend the development of devolution within England should ensure greater alignment between subnational bodies to create functioning economic geographies which also respect local identities, in so far as possible.

Dialogue between central and local government

268.Devolution within England is developing. In this context, it will be important to consider how English devolved authorities can contribute to wider governance discussions at the national level. Andy Burnham said the metro mayors needed to “be heard as an equal partner within the governance of our country” so that “the voice of mayors can at least be heard before policies are set.”364 Professor Mitchell said it was important to get the balance right to “ensure that the local, regional and substate national voice is louder and clearer at the centre.”365

269.Dr Paul Anderson said: “There should be specific English representation in wider [intergovernmental relations] structures involving the devolved governments as well as a separate England specific forum to bring together relevant ministers and the leaders and mayors of combined authorities.”366 The Dunlop review suggested establishing an ‘English Regions Forum’ to feed in views to UK Government ministers ahead of meetings of the proposed new intergovernmental Council.367 The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee has suggested establishing a committee of English devolved authorities for representation through JMC structures.368 Lord O’Neill agreed the devolved authorities should have a stronger voice in UK governance arrangements but said it was important not to rush into putting something in place.369

270.Andy Burnham told us that there should be a Cabinet Committee of the nations and regions, which would ensure “the regional voice is heard at the centre all the time.”370 He proposed nominating one of the metro mayors to attend Cabinet meetings and represent England from a devolved authority perspective.371

271.Professor Gallagher said: “The regions of the north of England, the great cities of the north of England, have many of the same interests and issues with the centre as Scotland, Wales and, in its own different way, Northern Ireland do. Therefore, an institution that brings [them] together seems to me to be quite important.” He said it would be in the interests of the devolved administrations to make common cause with the Mayors of Manchester and Birmingham, among others, and thus gain leverage over central government.372 Professor Mitchell also saw benefits in broadening the existing intergovernmental structures to encourage a move away from its focus on constitutional matters to public policy concerns.373

272.As devolution within England develops, it will be important that English devolved authorities have an opportunity to influence discussions at the national level. English devolved authorities should be given greater prominence in the intergovernmental arrangements—either through a parallel forum or a sub-committee of the new Prime Minister and Heads of Devolved Governments Council—so they have an opportunity to contribute to United Kingdom-wide discussions. This could also facilitate greater dialogue between the nations and regions, therefore strengthening the Union.

294 Constitution Committee, The Union and devolution, paras 428 and 430

295 QQ 1, 7 (Philip Rycroft), 37 (Professor John Denham), Q 94 (Mark Drakeford MS) and 207 (Professor Jim Gallagher)

296 Constitution Committee, The Union and devolution, para 376. See also Q 214 (Professor Jim Gallagher)

297 30 (Professor John Denham), Q 74 (Angus Robertson MSP), 207 (Professor Jim Gallagher) and written evidence from Professor John Denham (FGU0027)

298 Q 30 (Professor Michael Kenny), see also 16 (Alex Massie).

299 Q 26 (Sam McBride), written evidence from Professor Jim Gallagher (FGU0051), Royal Society of Edinburgh (FGU0047), Professor Ailsa Henderson and Professor Richard Wyn Jones (FGU0046), United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group (FGU0031), Professor John Denham (FGU0027), Dr Paul Anderson (FGU0011) and the Electoral Reform Society (FGU0022)

300 Q 216 (Professor Jim Gallagher) and written evidence from Professor John Denham (FGU0027)

301 Q 7 (Philip Rycroft)

302 Q 36 (Professor John Denham); written evidence from Professor John Denham (FGU0027). See also Professor John Denham, The Constitution Society, ‘England and the Union: time to think again’  (5 August 2021): [accessed 17 January 2022].

303 QQ 105–06 (Michael Gove MP)

304 See House of Commons Library Research Briefing 07019, 26 March 2020

305 Conservative and Unionist Party Manifesto 2019 Get Brexit Done: Unleash Britain’s Potential, p 29

306 Q 13 (Professor Ciaran Martin), Q 217 (Professor Jim Gallagher), Q 226 (Councillor James Jamieson), written evidence from Professor John Denham (FGU0027), Professor Jim Gallagher (FGU0051) and Lord Shipley, Lord Tyler and Lord Wallace of Saltaire (FGU0018). The Local Government Information Unit described the UK as “remarkably centralised in comparison with similar economies around the world”. See written evidence from the Local Government Information Unit (FGU0054)

307 Q 110 (Professor Philip McCann). See also Professor Philip McCann, The Productivity Institute, The fiscal implication of levelling up and UK governance devolution, (8 December 2021): [accessed 14 January 2022]

308 Q 234 (Councillor Nick Forbes), written evidence from Empowering Yorkshire (FGU0009), Yorkshire Devolution Movement (FGU0015), New Local (FGU0017), Local Government Association (FGU0021), Electoral Reform Society (FGU0022), Core Cities UK (FGU0028), Unlock Democracy (FGU0037), Centre for Cities (FGU0052), London First (FGU0049) and Local Government Information Unit (FGU0054)

309 Written evidence from Lord Shipley, Lord Tyler and Lord Wallace of Saltaire (FGU0018), the LIPSIT Project (FGU0038) and the Centre for Cities (FGU0052)

310 Q 106 (Michael Gove MP). See also Q 35 (Simon Case)

311 Q 41 (Professor John Denham); written evidence from Professor John Denham (FGU0027)

312 Q 235 (Councillor James Jamieson)

313 Q 234 (Councillor Nick Forbes)

314 Institute for Public Policy Research, The Devolution Parliament: Devolving power to England’s regions, towns and cities (February 2020), pp 26–35:–02/the-devolution-parliament-feb20.pdf

315 226 (Councillor Nick Forbes)

316 Q 227 (Councillor Nick Forbes)

317 The Industrial Strategy Council was an independent advisory group established in November 2018 to provide “impartial and expert evaluation of the government’s progress in delivering the aims of the Industrial Strategy”. The Council was disbanded by the Government in March 2021. The Council was chaired by former Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane, who has since been appointed Head of the Levelling Up Task Force jointly established by the Prime Minister and Michael Gove.

318 Industrial Strategy Council, ‘Devolution and Governance Structures in the UK (May 2021)’,
pp 4 and 18: [accessed 17 January 2022]

319 Q 52 (Andy Burnham), 106 (Michael Gove MP), Q 156 (Professor Iain McLean), 210 (Professor Jim Gallagher), Q 215 (Professor James Mitchell), written evidence from Baroness Kennedy and Mr Aarif Abraham (FGU0035), Unlock Democracy (FGU0037) and the Centre for Cities (FGU0052). See Industrial Strategy Council, Devolution and Governance Structures in the UK, p 28

320 Report of the Smith Commission for further devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament, p 6. See also Chris Deerin, ‘Why the SNP must stop hoarding power in Edinburgh’, The New Statesman (September 2021): [accessed 17 January 2022]

321 The Government was originally committed to publishing a ‘devolution and local recovery’ white paper by autumn 2020, but this was superseded by a commitment to publish a levelling up white paper by September 2021. This commitment then slipped to ‘by Christmas’, before slipping further to January 2021.

322 Politico, ‘Boris Johnson pins election hope on “levelling up” Britain – whatever that is’ (7 December 2021):

323 Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Speech on his vision to level up the United Kingdom (15 July 2021): [accessed 17 January 2022]

324 Anna Isaac, Ashley Cowburn, ‘Ministers plan sweeping changes to local government as part of levelling up agenda, leaked paper reveals’, The Independent (9 December 2011): [accessed 17 January 2022]

325 ‘American-style governors could level up England’, The Times (4 December 2021): [accessed 17 January 2022]

326 Local Enterprise Partnerships are business-led non-statutory bodies that pursue local economic development in England by bringing together the private sector, local authorities and voluntary institutions.

327 ‘Ministers examine shake-up of regional development in England’, Financial Times (7 December 2021), available at: [accessed 17 January 2022]

328 Q 44 (Professor Michael Kenny), Q 53 (Andy Burnham), Q 56 (Lord O’Neill of Gatley), Q 113 (Professor Philip McCann), Q 215 (Professor Jim Gallagher), Q 232 (Councillor Nick Forbes), written evidence from Lord Shipley, Lord Tyler and Lord Wallace of Saltaire (FGU0018), Local Government Association (FGU0021), Professor Jim Gallagher (FGU0051), LIPSIT Project (FGU0038), Volt UK (FGU0039) and the Centre for Cities (FGU0052)

329 Q 60 (Lord O’Neill of Gatley). As Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Lord O’Neill of Gatley, helped to negotiate the first devolution deal with Greater Manchester.

330 Institute for Government Insight, ‘How to make a success of county devolution deals’ (9 December 2021), pp 5–6: [accessed 17 January 2022]

331 Q 51 (Andy Burnham), Q 230 (Councillor Nick Forbes), QQ 231, 236 (Councillor James Jamieson)

333 Q 44 (Professor Michael Kenny), Q 46 (Andy Burnham), Q 60 (Lord O’Neill of Gatley), written evidence from Local Government Association (FGU0021), Electoral Reform Society (FGU0022), Unlock Democracy (FGU0037), Professor Jim Gallagher (FGU0051) and Centre for Cities (FGU0052). See also Centre for Cities, New Polling finds the public overwhelmingly back more devolution to their cities (9 April 2021):, and YouGov, ‘Democracy and British parliamentarianism’ (8 December 2020): [accessed 17 January 2022]

334 Q 39 (Professor Michael Kenny)

335 Q 49 (Andy Burnham), QQ 213, 215 (Professor Jim Gallagher). See also Industrial Strategy Council, Devolution and Governance Structures in the UK, pp 11–12

336 46 (Andy Burnham)

337 QQ 146–47 (Professor Iain McLean)

338 Written evidence from the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place (FGU0055)

339 LIPSIT Project, Delivering Levelling-Up: Don’t turn on the taps without fixing the pipes (September 2021), p 20: [accessed 17 January 2022]

340 Written evidence from the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place (FGU0055)

341 Constitution Committee, The Union and devolution, paras 160, 403 405 and 406. See also Constitution Committee, Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill (2nd Report, Session 2015–16, HL Paper 9), paras 12 and 14.

342 Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Speech on Levelling Up (15 July 2021): [accessed 12 January 2022]

343 Written evidence from the Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place (FGU0055) and the United Kingdom Constitution Monitoring Group (FGU0031)

344 Written evidence from the Local Government Association (FGU0021)

345 ‘How to make a success of county devolution deals’, Institute for Government Insight, p 2

346 Written evidence from Lord Shipley, Lord Tyler and Lord Wallace of Saltaire (FGU0017), Local Government Association (FGU0021), Electoral Reform Society (FGU0022), Professor Will Jennings, Professor Gerry Stoker and Dr Jennifer Gaskell (FGU0032), Unlock Democracy (FGU0037), LIPSIT Project (FGU0038) and Professor Jim Gallagher (FGU0051)

347 Q 64 (Lord O’Neill of Gatley). See also QQ 48, 52 (Andy Burnham)

348 Q 227 (Councillor Nick Forbes)

349 Q 231 (Councillor Nick Forbes)

350 Q 63 (Lord O’Neill of Gatley)

351 LIPSIT Project, Delivering Levelling-Up: Don’t turn on the taps without fixing the pipes, p 21: [accessed 17 January 2022]

352 Q 227 (Councillor Nick Forbes, Councillor James Jamieson)

353 Institute for Government, ‘How to make a success of county devolution deals’, p 8: [accessed 17 January 2022]

354 QQ 227, 231 (Councillor Nick Forbes). See also Q 231 (Councillor James Jamieson)

355 Q 215 (Professor James Mitchell)

356 Industrial Strategy Council, Devolution and Governance Structures in the UK, p 28. See also Q 117 (Professor Graeme Roy), Q 118 (Professor Philip McCann)

357 Q 227 (Councillor Nick Forbes), written evidence from New Local (FGU0017) and the Local Government Association (FGU0021). See also Institute for Government, ‘How to make a success of county devolution deals’ pp 9–11.

358 Q 229 (Councillor James Jamieson, Councillor Nick Forbes)

359 Q 57 (Lord O’Neill of Gatley). See also Industrial Strategy Council, Devolution and Governance Structures in the UK, p 37

360 Industrial Strategy Council, Devolution and Governance Structures in the UK, p 18

361 Ibid., pp 18, 29, 30 and 33. See also LIPSIT Project, Delivering Levelling-Up: Don’t turn on the taps without fixing the pipes, pp 22–23

362 Written evidence from The Heseltine Institute for Public Policy, Practice and Place (FGU0055)

363 Q 227 (Councillor Nick Forbes)

364 QQ 47, 53 (Andy Burnham)

365 Q 215 (Professor James Mitchell)

366 Written evidence from Dr Paul Anderson (FGU0011). See also written evidence from the Local Government Information Unit (FGU0054) and the Local Government Association (FGU0021)

368 Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee, Devolution and Exiting the EU: reconciling differences and building strong relationships, para 137

369 Q 68 (Lord O’Neill of Gatley)

370 Q 53 (Andy Burnham)

371 Q 55 (Andy Burnham)

372 Q 213 (Professor Jim Gallagher). See also written evidence from Professor Jim Gallagher (FGU0051). Gordon Brown has suggested creating “a decision-making Council of the Regions and Nations”. See Gordon Brown, ‘How to save the United Kingdom’, The New Statesman (18 November 2020): [accessed 17 January 2022]

373 Q 213 (Professor James Mitchell)

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