Size doesn’t matter


This report from UK think tank ResPublica looks at the arguments for place-based devolution.

The long-awaited Devolution White Paper is expected to set out the new Conservative Government’s ambitions for extending new freedoms and responsibilities to the local state. This report examines the implications of future devolution for districts and smaller unitary councils, and the potential role that they can play in responding to the challenges of Covid-19 and the crucial levelling up agenda. It makes the case for greater ‘subsidiarity’ in allowing places to better determine and shape their own fate, and it considers the current arguments deployed for devolved powers, contending – as we have done before – that the crucial role of smaller cities and places is being overlooked in the rush for a ‘bigger is better’ approach. We therefore discuss the optimal footprint for devolved powers and examine the appropriate governance for where devolution should land.

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