Responding to a ResPublica press release on its report ‘Devo 2.0 – The Case for Counties’, ahead of its launch on Monday, Cllr John Fuller, Chairman of the District Councils Network said:
“This report is at odds with the plainly spoken words of Ministers set out this week in Parliament. Instead it promotes a sterile and rather tiresome debate about structures that fail to focus on the needs of local people and place at a local geography residents can recognise and relate to, where incentives to grow can work and be seen to work and where councils are close enough to solve problems one family at a time.
“One size fits all approaches to growing local economies have been dismissed by Ministers in Parliament. The Local Growth Minister, Jake Berry was crystal clear this week ‘that the Government does not want to get in to a top-down reorganisation of local government’. The Minister also confirmed that ‘The role of district councils has never been more important in delivering growth across our country, and we need them to be fully engaged with our industrial strategy’.
“Districts have long demonstrated their appetite for increased devolution and the transformation of local government in localities. The recent ‘minded to’ announcement in relation to recent transformation proposals this month demonstrates the Governments support for locally-led transformation. The initial criteria set out to measure these proposals, in particular the emphasis on local support and credible geographies are vital principles.
“These principles reflect the DCN’s long held position that local government transformation should be driven by bottom up solutions, that drive growth and improve people’s lives, whilst operating at a functional economic geography that makes sense to residents and which transforms service delivery.”
If you have any questions on the above, please contact us at DCN@local.gov.uk or by phoning 0207 664 3048.