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Devolution from central to local government - managing the risk

3 June 2016
Devoluion thought leadership


The devolution juggernaut is gathering pace. The present government is single minded in its commitment to deliver on its programme of devolving ever greater powers from Westminster to local councils, community groups and individuals. A commitment that has already seen more than seven ‘devolution deals’ signed since the May 2015 election.

This revolution in the devolution of political or fiscal responsibility brings with it huge responsibilities, challenges and risks. Stakeholders will need to be innovative in managing local finances, shaping collaborative agreements, designing service delivery models and managing governance to make devolution work. This will involve developing an appetite for risk that for many is unprecedented. So are local authorities prepared for greater devolved powers? How will local authorities balance the challenges and risks associated with fiscal devolution against a backdrop of long term austerity? What are the specific challenges from a risk perspective and do senior management and elected members currently take risk management as seriously as they should do? Are current insurance risk arrangements fit for purpose?

Chaired by Rob Whiteman, Chief Executive of CIPFA, our latest roundtable discussed these issues and more with key public and private sector stakeholders including representatives from ACRE Risk Consulting, A J Gallagher, ALARM, AON Risk Solutions, CBI, London Borough of Lambeth, PwC, Risk Management Partners, Shropshire Council, Zurich Municipal and Walsall Council.

Our latest report on the devolution debate, 'Devolution from central to local government – managing the risk', highlights the key thoughts and views that emerged at our roundtable and highlights a series of recommendations for further consideration by stakeholders on managing the risks associated with this issue.

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