Levelling up local government in England

This report from UK think tank the Centre for Cities looks at how the Government should use the forthcoming devolution to boost local government.

Local government reform in England cannot wait any longer. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Government’s commitment to ‘levelling up’ mean it is an idea whose time has come. This report’s proposals are designed to show how the Government should use its forthcoming devolution white paper to end nearly half a century of underpowered and weakening local government in England. If the Government’s plans to level up the country are to stand any chance of succeeding, this report sets out how it must reorganise and simplify local government around the country to align the shape of local government to the shape of local economies. This will create accountable, capable institutions to be led by directly-elected leaders with the full set of economic powers available to local government at present. To that end, the report recommends a New Deal for Local Government to level up responsibilities so that everywhere has the same powers as the devolved government in London. The report sets out how to go about these reforms, proposing a framework of rules to be followed by central and local government to ensure timely reorganisation in a way that means they will be economically powerful and politically feasible.

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