‘Devolution deadlock’ feared as government admits no deals made last year

An annual government review into devolution deals across the UK has found that no new agreements were reached between April 2016 and March 2017, with only one application made.

While there has been the continuation of previous devolution plans during this period, only the North of Tyne group actually made a move to create a new deal.

“Between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017, the government reached no devolution agreements with new areas,” the report confirms.

"In relation to areas where agreements were previously reached, no further devolution agreements were concluded in that period."

However, there were three major areas where financial devolution took place due to already planned projects, including a £300m housing fund in Greater Manchester, a £170m growth fund for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and multi-year transport grants provided to a number of authorities including the Liverpool and Sheffield city regions.

The lack of new agreements has caused public-sector representatives to question the progress of devolution in the UK.

Autumn Budget devo deals a ‘step in the right direction’

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, chairman of the LGA’s People and Places Board, commented: “The devolution deals announced in the Autumn Budget were a step in the right direction and need to reignite the devolution process.

“Taking decisions closer to where people live is key to improving public services and unlocking inclusive growth. However, while local leaders in places such as the North of Tyne and the West Midlands can be justifiably proud of their achievements, many more such deals are required to allow communities across the country to benefit.

“The longer it takes to secure new devolution deals, the longer communities will have to wait to benefit from the opportunities currently available to areas where devolution has taken place.”

Hawthorne continued to say that there was a “real risk” that areas without devolution deals could be left behind if more agreements were not made, sparking fears of what he called a “devolution deadlock.”

The LGA is urging the government to jump-start the debate and try to push through more devolution deals in the next year.

Recently, there have has been progress on new agreements, with the West Midlands specifically being named as part of a second deal made “in principle” on housing and growth.

This was followed by GMCA mayor Andy Burnham’s announcement of a new transport overhaul, aimed at improving public transport services across Manchester.

Top image: omersukrugoksu

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

23/06/2020Cleaner, greener, safer media: Increased ROI, decreased carbon

Evolution is crucial in any business and Public Sector Executive is no different. Long before Covid-19 even became a thought in the back of our minds, the team at PS... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar


August 2020

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31 1 2 3 4 5 6

featured articles

View all News