A think-tank paper examined the prospects for regional devolution, taking the Greater Manchester area in the north of England as a case study, and arguing that a new Greater Manchester assembly should be given fiscal powers and complete financial devolution within five years.
Source: Phillip Blond and Mark Morrin, Devo Max – Devo Manc: Place-based public services, ResPublica
A think-tank report said that a centralized state in England might no longer be fit for purpose in three respects: economically; in the delivery and improvement of public services; and politically. The report called for a phased programme of decentralization over ten years, built on cross-party support, with economic development and public service delivery passed to combined authorities, local authorities, and other public bodies as they were ready to assume them, and with fiscal devolution.
Source: Ed Cox, Graeme Henderson, and Luke Raikes, Decentralisation Decade: A plan for economic prosperity, public service transformation and democratic renewal in England, Institute for Public Policy Research North
A special issue of a journal examined the governance of city regions.
Source: Urban Studies, Volume 51 Issue 11
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Iain Deas, 'The search for territorial fixes in subnational governance: city-regions and the disputed emergence of post-political consensus in Manchester, England'
John Harrison, 'Rethinking city-regionalism as the production of new non-state spatial strategies: the case of Peel Holdings Atlantic Gateway Strategy'
Simon Pemberton and Janice Morphet, 'The rescaling of economic governance: insights into the transitional territories of England'
Mike Coombes, 'From city-region concept to boundaries for governance: the English case'
The government began consultation on proposed changes to the legislation relating to the formation by local authorities of combined authorities and economic prosperity boards. The consultation would close on 24 June 2014.
Source: Proposal to Amend Legislation Relating to Combined Authorities and Economic Prosperity Boards, Department for Communities and Local Government
Links: Consultation document
An article examined the views of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) regarding the transition from the Regional Development Agency system to the new Local Enterprise Partnership system, drawing on research with digital media firms in the West Midlands region of England. It said that the RDA had been valued and that SMEs were both concerned about the loss of well-functioning programmes and institutional support structures, and uncertain about the role of the LEP.
Source: Laura James and David Guile, 'Evaluating the transition from Regional Development Agencies to Local Economic Partnerships: the views of SMEs in the British West Midlands', Local Economy, Volume 29 Number 3