What good devolution looks like

This article originally appeared in the Local Government Chronicle.

Levelling up, powering up, reducing regional disparity – whatever you want to call it, the question of how we build an economy that works for the whole country has troubled political parties and policy makers of all stripes for decades. Yet, despite the problem having relative consensus across Westminster and attempts to tackle it being central to more than one programme for government, no one yet has managed to make much of a dent in the huge gaps between the geographical haves and have nots of the UK. Even this week, research from the IFS identified that the UK “has gone into reverse” on many metrics since the release of the Levelling Up White Paper, calling on the next government to take decisive action to reverse “glacial” progress on the agenda.