Developing local economies
Increased economic growth has been a prime candidate for increased devolution and the part of public policy where some movement has taken place. This Insight explores the issue of what is meant by devolution.
There is a growing political consensus that there needs to be increased devolution in England. This is partly a response to the need to increase public sector agency collaboration driven by austerity.
It is also a response to demands from local authorities over many years. In this context, increased economic growth has been a prime candidate for increased devolution and the part of public policy where some movement has taken place, such as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), City Deals, Economic Growth Fund and combined authorities.
This piece attempts to look at some of the assumptions behind the consensus, including some differences in what is meant by devolution. It asks what the justification is for local authorities to intervene in their local economy and what the case is for centralisation before considering what the best way is for local authorities to intervene and how they do so in practice.