Devolution deals ‘first stage’ in a long journey – interview with Mark Lloyd

The current wave of devolution deals are being viewed as a “first stage” in a multi-layered process in strengthening the role of local government to lead communities, according to the new CEO of the Local Government Association (LGA).  

Mark Lloyd, previously the chief executive of Cambridgeshire County Council, took the reins only two weeks ago, and believes his frontline experience will help his new colleagues at the LGA understand just what a “tough gig” it is right now running councils politically and managerially, and to “ensure we are in tune with those challenges”. 

Speaking to PSE in the same week devolution deals for the Midlands and Liverpool were signed, Lloyd said the deals were welcomed, “but I think all councils would recognise we are on a journey”. 

“Some councils, leaders and chief executives have said to me that they are viewing their initial devolution deal simply as stage one,” he said. “That allows them to build their credibility [and] allows them to demonstrate capacity and competence. 

“And their expectation, and mine, is that we add layer two, layer three and layer four of the devolution deals as part of a move from such a centralised state to a much more localised approach to shaping and leading public services and driving growth.” 

The latest devolution deals, like most others, will include a mayor. But Lloyd stated that it will ultimately be for local councils to decide how far they wish to shift in terms of governance models in return for a strengthened position in the devolution negotiation. 

“It will be for local councils to decide whether they wish to pursue a mayoral model or think that other structures, like a Combined Authority, are appropriate,” he said. 

“It is relatively clear, so far, that the partner in the negotiation – central government – are prepared to agree bigger deals if local areas adopt the model of governance they consider to be the strongest.” 

Lloyd, who has also been in talks ahead of the chancellor’s Spending Review, added the LGA doesn’t have a position for or against mayors. 

“What we have a position on is trying to get very strong devolution deals for our councils, and we will do everything we can to support them in those negotiations, which will include supporting them to evaluate different governance models – but they have to pick one that is right for their local area, not have somebody like me tell them what the answer is.” 

Discussing life post next week’s Spending Review, Lloyd noted that the reality for councils is the workforce capacity will reduce further in the next five years and that there will be service reductions. 

The full interview with Mark Lloyd will appear in the Dec/Jan edition of PSE. 


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