A collective vision for devolution

So it was a pleasant surprise to see a Devolution White Paper in the Queen’s Speech. But I fear it won’t deliver what is really needed.
I’ve been working with Labour leaders across England and Wales to form a collective vision for how the next Labour government should forge a very different relationship with councils, based on mutual respect and partnership.

“Outcomes improve and we get better value for money when councils have the freedoms 
and funding to make local decisions”

Local government is at the core of responding to some of the biggest challenges we face, including housing, social care, and tackling the climate emergency. There is significant evidence that outcomes improve and the country gets better value for money when councils have the freedoms and funding to make local decisions. This has already been seen in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where councils have a say over everything from health services to skills and transport.

We need a Devolution Bill, but rather than a Tory-style top-down dictating to councils, Labour councillors want it to be co-produced between local and national government.

It should recognise the independence, autonomy, and equality of regional and local government, and aim to provide all parts of England with the powers and adequate funding to improve services and put local people and communities at the heart of decision-making.

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