Devolution: The Next Five Years And Beyond
HC 369, First Report of Session 2015-16 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes Relating to the Report
- House of Commons - Communities and Local Government Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The Government has announced a 'devolution revolution', transferring powers and opportunities to local government through a series of 'devolution deals'; the report 'Devolution: The Next Five Years And Beyond (HC 369)' sets out to examine the contents of the Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill (see below) and the way in which devolution in England is proceeding.
The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill gives statutory authority to deals and enables some of the specific reforms the government wishes to make, such as introducing directly-elected mayors for combined authorities.
The Committee has found a significant lack of public consultation and engagement at all stages in the devolution process. The public should be engaged in the preparation of devolution proposals, insofar as possible during the negotiations and once the results of a deal have begun to make an impact, and communicated to throughout the process. This is particularly the case for health devolution where the systems in place are complex, changes are consequently more difficult to understand and the public's response is likely to be more emotional.
The Committee also believes that the Government's approach to devolution in practice has lacked rigour, with no clear, measurable objectives for devolution. It suggests various ways in which proper process can be ensured.
In summary, the Committee has identified various aspects of the current approach to devolution that it recommends are refined and improved.
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