There is clear and significant evidence to back up our long-standing position that taking decisions over how to run public services locally leads to improvements, savings and better outcomes for residents.
“New devolved powers need to be underpinned by statute, so they cannot be rolled back by a simple change in government policy
The devolution deals of the past five years – mostly in urban areas – have demonstrated the benefits of giving local leaders greater powers and resources.
Any new approach needs to build on the work of mayoral combined authorities to develop a package of sustainably-funded devolved powers that is available to all of English local government and can be delivered through flexible governance arrangements. The mayoral model is not appropriate for all places, and areas should be able to propose their own governance arrangements.
These new devolved powers need to be underpinned by statute so they, along with those already devolved through existing deals, cannot be rolled back by a simple change in government policy.
This is vital so that all parts of England have the opportunity and certainty to reap the benefits of having greater powers and funding to improve services such as housing, transport, and health and social care.
The Government has signalled that the return of powers from the EU will lead to a significant increase in the decision-making powers of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. But we are clear that local communities in England should also have a voice in law-making, and a share of power commensurate with that held by residents of the other three nations.
Devolution is important because, with adequate funding and the right powers, councils can help the Government tackle the challenges facing our nation and make a huge difference to their communities – by building desperately needed new homes, creating jobs and school places, providing care for older and disabled people, and boosting economic growth.