Whatever happened to Devo 3.0?

By Steve Barwick | 26 February 2021

The pandemic has played havoc with the Prime Minister’s policy pipeline. It has paralysed much of Government thinking which has, understandably and correctly, focussed on three issues only: COVID, Brexit and Recovery. But with deaths (thankfully) finally going down and the roadmap published, the PM has a Queen’s Speech suddenly on the horizon. He will need to set out his stall on health and housing, education and skills, and a whole lot more. In this context, it is only fair to ask, whatever happened to the Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper?

At a recent roundtable, many of those who contributed to the Devo 3.0 Review, which DevoConnect prepared for the UK2070 Commission and published a little over a year ago, were joined by other key thinkers and influencers. Twelve months ago there was a sense that the new PM, a former Mayor of London Mayor, really did at least want to ‘turbo-boost’ decentralisation. Now the Government has seemingly ‘fallen out’ with - Labour - Metro Mayors and has on the whole failed to recognise the critical role of local councils to the delivery of a co-ordinated response to the pandemic.

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