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LGiU Response: Osborne statement on City Devolution
Jonathan Carr-West, Chief Executive, LGiU said:
“It is welcome news that the Chancellor has committed to talks with cities on devolution. However, if he truly wants to revolutionise the way we govern England, the Chancellor needs to ensure that his door is open to counties, districts and smaller cities as well. Looking at devolution deals in these areas in parallel with cities will allow for shared learning and shared progress rather than a potentially divisive focus.
A ‘fast stream’ approach to devolution risks sucking resources from neighbouring areas and talent from neighbouring councils. To ensure the benefits of devolution can be felt across the country, the Chancellor’s challenge now is to ensure he does not stick to too rigid a template. Wider devolution cannot work along a prescriptive combined authority and elected mayor model. Real devolution means letting places decide on the structures that work for them. This also requires less resource to negotiate from centre and means you can go further quicker.”
The Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) is a think tank and membership body with 200 councils subscribing to our networks. We work to strengthen local democracy and put citizens in control of their own lives, communities and local services. For more information, visit lgiu.org.