B34: Regional Government

22nd July 2005.

One of the key Labour Party manifesto commitments for the 1997 general election was their vision for a degree of decentralisation of responsibility away from Whitehall to enable a greater regional focus to the way in which the United Kingdom was governed. The Government not only saw regional government as key to increasing the identification local people had with their neighbourhoods, towns and regions and as a way to improve local democracy, but also saw regional government as key to increasing inward investment and economic development.

This Bulletin identifies:

  • The centralised nature of the United Kingdom when compared to European counterparts;
  • What has happened with regard to institutional change in devolved territories and the regions of England since 1997;
  • How economic development policies vary between the regions and devolved territories;
  • A conclusion and series of future challenges for regional government in the United Kingdom.