Measuring up

Think tank: Adam Smith Institute

Author(s): Tim Ambler

September 28, 2022

This report from UK think tank the Adam Smith Institute looks at reforming the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

  • The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) has responsibility for a number of functions that are currently performed inefficiently and represent poor value for taxpayer money;
  • DLUHC should set strategy and draft legislation whilst devolving initiatives and action to the regions and local authorities;
  • The core department should need no more than 500 civil servants whose role should include disbursing the funding and then evaluating the funded schemes to disseminate the more successful to other regions and local authorities;
  • Various arm’s length bodies should be closed, privatised or merged with other bodies;
  • If government then considers DLUHC too small to justify a seat in Cabinet, its Union role should be strengthened by merging the Offices of the Secretaries of State for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland into DLUHC, now perhaps called the “Department for the Union”, and doubling the size of the core department;
  • Taken together, if all the recommendations within this paper were implemented, this would amount to a saving of 5,030 staff (88% of the present total).