Devolution Bulletin - November 2022

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Devolution Bulletin

November 2022

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Welcome to the November 2022 edition of the LGA’s Devolution Improvement and Support Bulletin. 

In the Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced progress on three devolution deals. The Government has agreed a mayoral deal with Suffolk County Council (although this has not yet been signed), and advanced discussions are underway with Cornwall Council, Norfolk County Council and the North East of England to agree mayoral devolution deals too. 

We continue to support areas negotiating or preparing for devolution deals at the LGA, and in November held two webinars for these areas. These webinars looked at how to successfully manage the creation of a combined authority, and how to build engagement with devolution through good communication, which also covered the process of formal consultation on a deal. Slides are available for these sessions on the LGA’s website 

The final webinar in this series is on making a successful evidence-led application to Government (16 December, 10.30am). Book now to secure your space! If there’s something you’d like to see in a future webinar from the LGA, please get in touch 


New devo deals for Norfolk, Suffolk and Cornwall in Autumn Statement  

The Chancellor reiterated the Government’s commitment to levelling up and devolution at the Autumn Statement on 17 November. He announced that Government has agreed a mayoral deal with Suffolk County council, and is in advanced discussions on mayoral devolution deals with Cornwall, Norfolk, and the North East of England. The LGA welcomed these deals but called for devolution to be extended further, faster and to more places. 

Trailblazers could have single department-style financial settlements 

The Autumn Statement also included news about the two trailblazer devolution deals for Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. The Chancellor announced that these areas could be give single financial settlements at the next Spending Review. The LGA has long called for an end to the fragmentation of government funding, and this proposal would give these areas the resources and flexibility needed to better tailor spending to local needs and opportunities.   

Shadow chancellor calls for “deeper and broader” economic devolution  

Speaking at the Great Northern Conference, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves MP said “We have been far too timid about economic devolution” and pledged that under a Labour Government economic devolution would be both deeper and broader. 

Lancashire 2050 launched as county announces they are ready for devo  

Cllr Philippa Williamson, Leader of Lancashire County Council launched Lancashire 2050: a long-term strategic plan for the future of Lancashire. This brings together Lancashire’s 15 councils with a shared vision and ambition, speaking with one voice to Government. Speaking after the launch, Cllr Williamson said that she hopes it will demonstrate “the kind of devolution deal that would suit Lancashire”.  


The State of the State 2022-23 

This report from Deloitte and Reform is the 11th annual snapshot of what’s happening across government and public services. It finds that public attitudes to government have been deeply affected by the economic situation, and that public leaders are eager for reform after years of responding to crises.  

Levelling up: what England thinks 

UK in a Changing Europe partnered with YouGov to carry out a survey of over 20,000 people from across England. This found over half of respondents believe their local area gets significantly less government spending and investment than it deserves. It also found that while people are inclined to believe that those in positions of political authority do not care about their area, the more local the level of representation, the more likely it was that people believed that they did care, with local councillors top of the list.  

Time to get serious about inclusive growth  

This paper from Metro Dynamics is the start of a year of work on how the UK can strengthen the role of place in policy setting and delivery. This work will look at three key themes: investment and innovation, prevention and human capital development, and adapting to climate change and growing the green economy.   

The Levelling Up Agenda: A Special Report by the Leaders Council  

The Leaders Council (a non-partisan, cross-sector membership organisation for leaders, chaired by Lord Blunkett) has launched a special report on levelling up. This report bring together the reflections and insights of MPs, industry experts, and business leaders. It looks at whether levelling up is likely to be carried out as intended in the wake of the rising cost-of-living, the energy crisis and rising inflation. 

Unfunded mandates and the economic impact of decentralisation  

This discussion paper from the Centre for Economic Policy Research analyses whether decentralisation improves economic performance. It finds that better not more decentralisation, ensuring that finance follows function should be pursued.

In Parliament

Oral Questions 

This month’s oral questions to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities included questions on the tools and funding local leaders need to deliver services, the impact of inflation on regional inequality, and when the successful levelling up fund bids will be announced. 

Gove appears before Levelling Up Committee 

Appearing before the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, the Secretary of State announced he was commissioning a review of the council tax system, looking to simplify local government finance, and said that investment zone bids would still be looked at and that council time had not been wasted. 

LGA gives evidence to Funding for Levelling Up Inquiry 

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Leader of Essex County Council and Chair of the LGA’s People and Places Board gave evidence to the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee on funding for levelling up. Cllr Bentley made the case for a more streamlined funding system for local government, with fewer competitive bidding processes, and raised the issue of the impact of inflation on successful funding bids.  

Inquiry into levelling up: call for evidence 

The APPG for Left Behind Neighbourhoods welcomes written or video evidence into their inquiry into levelling up. Evidence can be across any or all of the Levelling Up White Paper’s policy focus areas and medium term missions. The deadline is 23 January.  


Economic inactivity: how can an inclusive and sustainable economic approach help shift the dial? 

6 December, 2pm 

This webinar, organised by the LGA in partnership with the National Inclusive and Sustainable Economies (NISE) Network, will explore some of the major implications of the rise in economic activity for population health and the wider economy. It will draw on a range of experts to debate the impacts of economic inactivity for place-based systems and what inclusive and sustainable action can be taken to mitigate these impacts.

Sharing ideas

Devolution webinar series

The LGA’s final webinar in this series on devolution will take place on 16 December, 10.30am, and cover making a successful evidence-led application to Government.

Book now to secure your space.

Please contact your regional principal adviser if you would like to discuss LGA support.