It’s time to re-ignite the debate on what good devolution looks like and why it’s so important to the levelling-up agenda.
The Levelling Up White Paper has been published – see pages 29 to 32 in the Queen’s Speech pack – but it only references ‘place’ not devolution. In fact the ‘d’ word is not mentioned once in its 160 pages. So where next for devolution?’
Resurrecting progress on this is not only important for completing the patchwork of Mayors in the North – and indeed across the whole of England, where currently only one third of the population have the benefits of clear leadership and devolved powers and resources – but also essential if Metro Mayors are going to be recognised as key to delivering green growth and recovery.
Now really is the time for Boris Johnson to embrace a new vision that sees empowerment of mayoral combined authorities as part of the solution – both to levelling-up and recovery from recession.
What’s needed is genuine devolution – the powers and funding to make real decisions, deliver real services and to be held to account. We at DevoConnect have long advocated a new chapter of wider and deeper sub-regional devolution: we call it Devo 3.0.
THE KEY DEVO 3.0 QUESTIONS ON OUR AGENDA
- How do we make sure that levelling up and devolution are inextricably linked – to the extent that one cannot be fully realised without the other?
- Will Conservatives support devolution with a capital “D” again? Or only some form of decentralisation?
- Is Labour now ready to embrace the Devolution agenda? Can Andy Burnham and Keir Starmer make common cause – and help push Government back on track too?
- Can Mayoral Combined Authorities – across the party divide – continue to demonstrate devolution is part of the solution to the UK’s recovery and work together to push towards more powers and resources for MCAs?
- Do we argue for double devolution to show that devolution to local authorities and to combined authorities are 2 sides of the same coin?
- Is this the right time for those in the North – business, third sector, MCAs, local government, N8, NP11, think tanks and advocacy groups – to build pan-Northern consensus for a New Deal for the North?
DevoConnect are bringing together top thinkers and Devo champions to ask, ‘where next for devolution?’