Devolution: Beyond the rhetoric

22nd November 2016.

‘Devolution: Beyond the rhetoric’ by Victoria Bettany, Senior Researcher at CLES, is a six-point think piece that challenges the Government narrative on devolution. It explores the extent of the devolved power deficit in comparison to the vast amounts of new risk and responsibility devolved to local government.

Real power, real budgets and real revenue raising capacity remain at the whim of Whitehall and purported opportunities around business rate retention and the lack of political will to address long-standing issues with council tax provide clear examples of this.

This think piece argues that without true devolution of power, the potential contribution of local government towards a prosperous future for people and place is in danger of drowning in a mire of unnecessary fiscal constraints and excessive levels of localised risk.