Practical Devolution to empower our region to deliver more for the UK

“The South East’s thriving economy is a net contributor to the UK economy; therefore attracting infrastructure investment to drive and support growth, sustainably, matters in our region.”
CLLR NICOLAS HESLOP | Executive member | South East Councils
Councillor Nicolas Heslop
Conservative: Tonbridge & Malling District Council

A Greater South East Supporting a thriving UK

South East England is the UK’s gateway to the world, positioned on the doorstep of the EU, with significant clusters of commerce and industry – long championing trade, the South East has been England’s highest exporting region.

Ministers will want to ensure the South East has a secure economic foundation to meet challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the effects of climate change and a growing population which is set to reach 10 million people by 2030.

South East England enjoys strong economic relationships with other UK regions and our future growth is intertwined. Government is considering further devolution to English regions. That process cannot pass the South East by. The South East region can do more, can support more, can deliver more, for the UK – with more control over its destiny.

Devolution sign post | South East Councils
62%
of all respondents were confident that their local council would make the right decision for their local area

(Savanta-ComRes survey for SEEC of 275 businesses, 345 members of the public and 345 councillors, 22nd September 2020)

‘Build back better’ is the maxim as government seeks to motivate the nation to spur Britain’s recovery from Covid-19.

To be successful the build back better approach should be holistic; not looking at certain regions with a redistributive eye, but a bias toward enabling existing regional strengths and untapped potential that can benefit the whole UK.

  • The South East has been one of only three UK regions to be a net contributor to the UK Treasury.

  • Devolution of powers, including finance, would allow the South East to invest in its future rather than lobby Whitehall to get our own taxpayers’ money back.

  • Local government needs the freedom to ensure adequate infrastructure and public services provision to make the South East region attractive as a place to live, work and do business.

  • A new model is needed to harness additional local powers and new funding mechanisms together to empower locally elected representatives to deliver for the communities they serve.
“The South East’s thriving economy is a net contributor to the UK economy; therefore attracting infrastructure investment to drive and support growth, sustainably, matters in our region.”
CLLR NICOLAS HESLOP | Executive member | South East Councils
Councillor Nicolas Heslop
Conservative: Tonbridge & Malling District Council