Reclaiming our regions

25th April 2024.

How combined authorities can help to build more inclusive local economies

The arguments for devolving more power away from the centre and towards the people and places of the UK are well established – there is cross party support for regional devolution and this is backed up by data which shows that people trust the leaders who are closest to them to make the best decisions to improve the lives of people in their communities. We also know that combined authorities are delivering on this trust, and there are numerous examples of innovative practice which harness the bonds of community and place happening in the devolved regions. 

But so much more could be done if the bonds of community and place – bonds of trust, solidarity, shared aspiration – were not being put under strain by the fragmented, incoherent, incomplete set of powers and funding that local and combined authorities have been given to work with.

This paper from the Reclaiming Our Regional Economies (RORE) partners – CLES,  the New Economics Foundation (NEF), Co-operatives UK and the Centre for Thriving Places (CTP) – draws on our learning from the first year of working together. It expands on the work we have done so far, understanding what communities, local authorities and combined authorities would like to do differently to make sure that regional policy making builds better lives for everyone, and discusses what needs to change to enable communities to re-wire and reform their regional economies.

Learn more about RORE →