A Local Government Association document draws attention to the failure of LEPs and the need to base devolution on English counties not artificially created areas that have little synergy and where control is ceded to unrepresentative interests and lack of scrutiny and accountability:
“Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, said councils wanted to use greater powers to build more homes, secure the infrastructure essential for economic growth, improve roads, close skill gaps and increase access to fast broadband but feared opportunities were being missed because devolution has “stalled”.
He added: “To reignite the devolution process, the government needs to engage in a debate about appropriate governance arrangements with local areas.
“This is fundamental to ensure that the momentum around devolving powers to local areas is not lost and the billions of pounds worth of economic growth, hundreds of thousands of jobs and homes on offer through non-metropolitan devolution deals is not lost with it.”
The LGA wants the government to publish its annual devolution report, setting out progress on negotiating deals, when parliament returns this week.
Under the Cities & Local Government Devolution Act, the secretary of state is expected to provide annual reports to parliament setting out the progress on devolution across England – this year’s report has yet to be published.
Concern has been sparked as no new deals have been announced for 18 months although the election of six combined authority mayors earlier this year was hailed as a significant milestone for devolution in England. …”
The ‘ Growing Places’ report referred to above is here: