0370 270 6000

already registered?

Please sign in with your existing account details.

need to register?

Register to access exclusive content, sign up to receive our updates and personalise your experience on brownejacobson.com.

Privacy statement - Terms and conditions

Forgotten your password?

Bridging the local government gap: five years on for devolution

17 December 2019

This article is taken from December's public matters newsletter. Click here to view more articles from this issue.


Public bodies are continuing to seek creative ways of improving efficiency and finding savings for the public purse. Could additional devolution powers further aid efficiency and public spending?

What is devolution? It is the transferring of powers from central government to local governments with the view to empowering local authorities and enabling them to support their local area.

Following the 2015 General Election the government pledged to have a look at local government proposals in the autumn 2015 spending review. A number of deals were agreed in 2015 – 2017, with some not yet published.

Recently devolution in England has slowed and there are calls for more to be done particularly focusing outside of metropolitan areas. The Local Government Association is calling for a new localism settlement.

Lord Heseltine, a former conservative deputy prime minister, is calling for further English devolution powers as current decisions are too London Centric and local governments should have responsibility for overseeing such things like failing schools, affordable housing and local taxes.

In July 2019 a new inquiry was launched with the purpose of assessing the progress of devolution in England. It plans to examine the impact of increased devolved powers and the effectiveness of the current strategy.

The renewed focus on devolution provides local authorities with an opportunity to put forward any devolution proposals. However proposals should be characterised as containing a ‘menu with specials’ the ‘menu’ being a number of items that have been made available to most areas including an adult education budget, integrated transport system and planning and land use; and he ‘specials’ involve items that may be offered a limited selection of local authorities such as housing and health. Reviewing deals that have already been agreed and published will be beneficial when drafting a devolution proposal and is now the time to have more of a consistent framework across the devolution landscape rather than a deal based approach?

Due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit any devolution deals entered into must contain flexibility to allow for any changes that may take place.

Receive our latest government sector news

Choose the way you want to keep up to date with our latest updates and insights. Sign up to our monthly newsletter or join the conversation with our team on LinkedIn.

Sign up to receive updates >

Follow our LinkedIn showcase page >

<>

Training and events

9Sep

In house lawyers: our sustainable future Online

This might be the greatest challenge facing C-Suite and legal teams over the next few years. What does that mean for you?

View event

7Oct

In house lawyers: skills and networking session Online

As the pandemic recedes, we'll be getting back together, taking a look at what it means to be a lawyer in 2021 and to have a work-life balance.

View event

Focus on...

Legal updates

The Building Safety Bill – what does it mean for you?

Earlier this month the Government published the Building Safety Bill as part of its continuing efforts to respond to the Grenfell disaster and recommendations made following the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety led by Dame Judith Hackitt.

View

Legal updates

Japanese knotweed – a diminishing risk?

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (‘RICS’) is in the process of updating its guidance to surveyors on their approach to Japanese knotweed when valuing a property.

View

Legal updates

Local authority leisure provision in a time of Covid

It was no surprise that the leisure sector was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, and that many local authority leisure contracts required significant intervention.

View

Legal updates

Special Severance Payments

It took over 5 years for secondary legislation implementing the £95,000 cap on public sector exit payments to be brought into force; only a few months after their implementation, the Government announced in February of this year that the Public Sector Exit Payments Regulations 2020 would be revoked, citing ‘unintended consequences’ which had been identified after ‘extensive review’.

View

The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up