Nothing to prove

By Kersten England | 24 April 2014

The MJ’s 27 March edition reported on its front page Centre for Cities’ report ‘Breaking Boundaries’, as though this represented an important step forward in the devolution and decentralisation debate.

As always, Centre for Cities’ analysis of the issues is compelling.  Like many local authorities, City of York Council is passionate about cross-boundary working.

We are committed to taking up our full place in the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, as soon as central Government delivers the reform of Combined Authority legislation it promised a year ago.  We are also committed to York North Yorkshire & East Riding LEP.  And we also recognise the many barriers to working effectively across boundaries set out in Centre for Cities’ report.

But I strongly disagree with the report’s recommendation that only London and Greater Manchester are ready for increased fiscal devolution, with other Combined Authorities only getting this once they have, to quote the report, ‘proved their worth’.  This seems to me to lock us all into the ‘earned autonomy’ game, where Whitehall sit as judge and jury.

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