A new local economic narrative

19th December 2012.

The Coalition Government’s approach to recovery and economic growth has so far been an approach that embraces the supposed rhetoric of three principles: small state; local decision making; and a competitive private sector. In the 2012 Budget Statement , the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Prime Minister had commissioned Lord Heseltine to conduct an independent review into the performance of government departmental spending and decision making capacity around economic growth. The December 2012 Autumn Statement was an opportunity for the Coalition Government to reflect on Lord Heseltine’s recommendations (presented in late October 2012 ) and detail a revised plan for economic growth and recovery .

This Bulletin provides a commentary upon the Coalition’s approach to economic growth and recovery, in light of the Autumn Statement 2012, reflecting upon the recommendations of the Heseltine Review. Indeed, Heseltine and the Autumn Statement provide some useful recommendations upon future economic policy.

Whilst we welcome the Heseltine Review, at CLES we believe there is a need for a much more fundamental review of the way in which economic policy is designed, developed and delivered; a review in which a new narrative is developed in relation to local economies. The Bulletin therefore provides a commentary upon: what this new narrative might look like; where centralism is reduced in economic policy; where barriers to local economic development are removed; and where a greater belief that local places can deliver is fostered.