Devolution Bulletin - March 2023

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Devolution Bulletin

March 2023

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Welcome to March’s edition of the LGA’s Devolution Bulletin. 

The last month has seen lots of activity in relation to devolution. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt in his Spring Budget announced powers and money for communities around the UK. It was confirmed that Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the West Midlands Combined Authority have secured deeper devolution through the new, ambitious Trailblazer deals. The Mayors of South and West Yorkshire have now begun similar talks with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). 

The LGA’s Budget briefing summarises the main devolution and levelling up announcements, including new funding for ‘levelling up partnerships; Investment Zones; confirmation of a third round of the Levelling Up Fund and more devolution deals to come. Shortly after the Budget, Government published its English Devolution Accountability Framework 

Elsewhere in the country, East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull along with the Greater Devon region have started to explore devolution options with the Government. The City of York and North Yorkshire Council and the East Midlands Combined County Authority have published the results of their devolution consultations. 

This month sees a number of new publications, not least the final report of the LGA’s Levelling Up Locally Inquiry. Britain’s Leading Edge have produced a manifesto for 2023, the Office for National Statistics has produced a new data set that looks at similarities between local authorities. An article in The Political Quarterly considers the lessons learnt from the levelling up policy and the LGA have launched its findings from the A new report by the Constitution Unit at UCL looks at how democracy should function in the UK, the Mossavar-Rahmani Centre for Business and Government have been looking at the UKs regional economic inequality. Whilst T&F Online have been reimagining the future for city regions, and the Northern Powerhouse have developed a blueprint for retaining local funding.


Trailblazer deeper devolution deals 

The Government has agreed deeper devolution deal with Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the West Midlands Combined Authority through the new Trailblazer deals.

Advanced devolution deal discussions  

Mayors in South and West Yorkshire have begun talks for new advanced devolution deals this year. Both Oliver Coppard and Tracy Brabin will be invited to start negotiations for more powers later this year, with sources confident they will be offered similar deals to both Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. 

City of York Council and North Yorkshire to progress with devolution plans 

Under the proposed devolution deal which was formally offered by the government in August of last year, York and North Yorkshire will gain control of funding worth £540 million for local priorities. Members at both councils hope that following the public consultation the deal can now be finalised that will lead to the creation of a new combined authority. 

East Midlands Combined Authority Consultation results  

The results of a consultation on devolution proposals for the East Midlands have been published, showing substantial public support for the proposed plans.  

New combined authority for East Yorkshire and Hull   

Local leaders will begin talks with the Government over the development of a combined authority for East Riding of Yorkshire and Hull.  

A step closer to devolution for Greater Devon  

A landmark devolution deal for the greater Devon region, which transfers new money and powers into the hands of local Leaders across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, has moved a step closer with the backing of the Government’s Levelling Up Minister Dehenna Davison. 

Boston to become a Levelling Up Partnership Town  

Boston Borough Council has announced that, following yesterday’s Spring Budget, the town is to become a Levelling Up Partnership Town, with the aim of driving growth, unlocking barriers and attracting inward investment to ensure that communities get solutions that benefit them the most. 

Two South Yorkshire towns to get £12 million 

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his Budget on 16 March that two South Yorkshire towns, Dinnington and Wath, previously rejected for levelling-up funding would get £12 million for town centre regeneration.  

Alternatives to competitive funding

The MJ has been looking at alternatives to competitive funding pots (£).  

Stop competitive bidding 

Andy Haldane told a webinar organised by King’s College London that there were “too many” different funding streams (£). The government should stop allocating regeneration funds through competitive bidding processes, the chair of its Levelling Up Advisory Council has said, arguing this had hampered progress 

All Party Parliamentary Group on Devolution 

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Devolution, which the LGA supports, held a session considering international examples of devolution and assessing the performance of devolution in England.  

First thoughts on the Accountability Framework 

The Centre for Governance and Scrutiny has provided a response to the Government’s recently published accountability framework. 


Levelling Up Locally Inquiry 

The LGA has launched the findings from its Inquiry into how the Government’s levelling up agenda might better strengthen local communities. 

Britain’s Leading-Edge Manifesto 2023 

Britain’s Leading Edge, a collaboration of rural upper-tier local authorities  without major cities has produced its manifesto for 2023.   

Clustering local authorities against subnational indicators 

The Office for National Statistics has produced a new data set of experimental statistics that looks at exploring similarities between local authorities in England.  

Blueprint for devolving tax 

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership has produced a new report that outlines a blueprint for mayors and council leaders to retain more local funding as part of a new era for English devolution. 

Levelling Up the UK 

This ‘The Political Quarterly’ article considers the levelling-up agenda in the UK, examining the Johnson government's original proposals to tackle regional and local inequality and its continuation under new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak following the short-lived premiership of Liz Truss.  

UK voters want national politicians to face stronger checks and balances  

A new report published by the Constitution Unit of University College London provides details of the findings of a second major survey investigating citizens attitudes to how democracy should function in the UK. 

Tackling the UK’s regional economic inequality: Binding constraints and avenues for policy intervention  

The Mossavar-Rahmani Centre for Business and Government part of the Harvard Business School has produced its Associate Working Paper No 198 looking at the UK’s regional economic inequality. 

Re-imagining the future 

Taylor & Francis Online Regional Studies Volume 57, Number 4 looks at how we can re-imagine the future looking at city-region foresight and visioning in an era of fragmented governance.

In Parliament

English Devolution Accountability Framework 

This document sets out how areas with devolution deals will be scrutinised and held to account through local scrutiny, by the public and by government. English Devolution Accountability Framework - GOV.UK ( 

Levelling up at heart of Budget 

Budget measures announced by the Chancellor are set to put powers and money in the hands of communities most in need. Levelling up at heart of Budget - GOV.UK ( 


Economic Growth roundtable 

Wednesday 15 April, 2:00 to 3:30pm, hosted virtually 

The LGA’s Improvement Team will be hosting an economic growth roundtable which will explore the topic of attracting a new talent pool in economic development and retaining staff in the sector. This roundtable has been organised to reflect on the challenges and opportunities councils face from this issue across the country. It will also be an opportunity to share insights into how councils are attracting a new talent pool in economic development as well as retaining their staff in the sector. 

Due to the limited places available for this event we ask that no more than one officer from each council attend 

Sharing ideas

Corporate Peer Challenge

Following on from Greater Manchester Combined Authorities Peer Challenge if you are interested in your Combined Authority undertaking a peer challenge for your own authority, please contact your regional principal adviser.

Contact the LGA

If you have any thoughts or ideas that you want to share with Jenni, the LGA’s Policy Lead on Devolution Support, regarding this Bulletin or the types of support that the LGA offer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email

The LGA are always looking for opportunities for authorities who are already devolved, have a deal in place or are starting on that devolution journey to show case their work – especially where this activity will help inform others who may be experiencing similar issues.

Please pass this bulletin on to any individuals or teams who you may think would benefit from it and if you are not already on our mailing list but would like to join, please go to and register your interest.

 For wider LGA support, please contact your regional principal adviser.