Reacting to the new Localis – LGA report on Fiscal Devolution, South East England Councils Chair (SEEC), Cllr Roy Perry said:
“As the report highlights, England remains one of the most centralised nations in the world even though consecutive governments have pledged to devolve powers and responsibilities to local areas.
Despite this, councils the length and breadth of the UK have adapted, and risen to, the challenges brought about by Covid-19, by continuing to provide essential services to residents and leading on local recovery efforts.
Councils have demonstrated that if you put faith in local leaderships they can deliver.
English Devolution has been piecemeal up to present, therefore, with the Government set to unveil its Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper in the Autumn, it’s time for a genuine devolution with autonomy that empowers local people to have a real say.
That means much more than ministers simply handing out pots of money – as that would leave any so-called devolved area even more dependent on Whitehall.
Each English region is different – not all are metropolitan conurbations.
The Conservative Party’s manifesto commitment to deliver “full devolution” must see more Town Hall and less Whitehall – Boris now has to deliver”.
Notes to editors:
- Councillor Roy Perry is available for interview.
- With the majority of local authorities as members, South East England Councils (SEEC) aims to work in partnership to make the region a great place to live, work and do business. www.secouncils.gov.uk
- SEEC is an officially recognised regional grouping by the Local Government Association