A growth case for devolution

By Michael Burton | 03 June 2015

The Queen’s Speech last week confirmed that the devolution bandwagon in England is rolling and that city-focused combined authorities will be at its core with mayoral models.

However the focus on the constitutional aspects of devolution obscures the fact that boosting England’s local economies is one of the Government’s prime aims and that core cities are not the only vehicle for achieving it; key cities, counties and London boroughs are also lobbying hard for devolved powers arguing that if anything, their impact on jobs and growth is even greater. In addition bringing in new business can enhance a council’s bottom line through increases business rate revenue. Devolution therefore is inextricably bound up with local economic growth.

These issues will be aired at a one-day conference organised by The MJ in Westminster next month where key speakers will outline the Government’s growth agenda. The focus is on practical advice for local authorities and local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) wanting to know more about how to attract investors and how to market their areas.

Key speakers include Tom Walker, director of the cities and local growth unit at the Cabinet Office, Jackie Sadek, former adviser to cities minister Greg Clark, Alex Pratt, former chair of the LEP network and Sir John Peace, chairman of Standard Chartered plc and chair of the Local Government Association’s Non-Metropolitan Commission which reported in March this year. Grant Thornton Place Analytics will provide delegates later in the day with an analysis of their performance on their new Business Location Index and will be supplying copies of the full report on publication.

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Local economies Whitehall Finance Infrastructure Economic growth Local Enterprise Partnerships Devolution

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