• Jam and Justice: increasing citizens’ voices in decision making

    This week, CLES Associate Director Jenny Rouse was invited to join ‘Divas up North’ on Salford City Radio to discuss democracy and governance, drawing on her involvement in Jam and Justice and her wider work at CLES.

    Jam and Justice is a three year ESRC-funded project researching more inclusive ways of governing city regions, ensuring that those who are most excluded are part of the search for solutions. Jenny is part of Jam and Justice’s Action Research Cooperative (ARC), a group of 15 Greater Manchester practitioners and citizens that have come together to design and deliver projects that aim to responds to challenges around inclusive governance. The ARC’s work is focused on Greater Manchester and the opportunities devolution presents to shift the way the region is governed.

    Metro mayors: three ways to reset local strategy

    Next week, on May 5th, newly elected metro mayors in six combined authorities begin their first day in office. This is an historic opportunity to reset policy and address longstanding economic and social issues, as Neil McInroy and Victoria Bettany outline below.

    To date, policy opinion and mayoral manifestos have offered a laudable, but often limited, set of tactical policy innovations, including cheaper transport for sections of the population, actions around a living wage, housing affordability and tackling youth unemployment. Given the scale of the challenge, these may not be enough to successfully reset strategic policy. Rather, three key things need to happen.

    1. Re-organise the economics of devolution

    Financial investment and return has dominated the economics of devolution, hence the focus on property development and land value appreciation in city centres and other hotspots. Indeed, this focus has been over-egged in devolution deals through economic agglomeration and ‘earnback’ on growth. If this trickle-down approach is retained, we can expect the deepening of geographic divides across the combined authorities, with little significant increase in new or decent jobs. Of course, a focus on financial return is a universal component to city success but it should only be a part of the mix, and not take undue precedence over other forms of economic development and social investment.

    The Spring Budget: Robin Hood in Reverse?

    In the Budget, wealthy businesses in thriving parts of the country were granted a smoother transition to their new higher business rates bill. This easing-in period for successful businesses will be subsidised by a “fair” increase in National Insurance Contributions by 1% to 10% for the self-employed – raising £145m a year by 2021/22.

  • Frances Jones

    Associate Director

  • Tom Lloyd Goodwin

    Associate Director


    The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill

    8th September 2015
    This CLES bulletin does three things. Firstly it summarises the content of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill; second...
  • CLES 10

    Devolution: A Historical and Global context

    8th September 2015
    It is imperative that new governance structures actively accommodate the voices of citizens and the social economy; yet, it is onl...

    Implications of the Queen’s speech 2015

    4th June 2015
    This bulletin will discuss the implications of the Conservative proposals outlined in the Queen’s speech and general election ma...

    Party manifestos review 2015

    22nd April 2015
    The bulletin summarises the key sections and themes of all party manifestos relevant to local socio-economic growth, and indicate ...