Devolution Bulletin - July 2023

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Devolution Bulletin

July 2023

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

The LGAs new Chair Cllr Shaun Davies, launched the Make It Local campaign in his opening speech at the recent LGA Conference in Bournemouth. Make it Local focuses on the development of a brand new central-local partnership in which local government can work to its full potential. This work will underpin the development of a new Local Government White Paper by the LGA to be published before the next election. 

As part of its sector support programme the LGA has introduced a new Transformation Experts programme which complements the existing offer and will enable Transformation Experts to be linked to Councils who request advice.   

The Local Government Chronicle (LGC) has produced a comprehensive map of all the devolution areas and the current state of any new deal discussions. The Institute for Government has a new publication The art of the devolution deal that looks at how England’s counties and cities can make a success of devolution.  

The Power Test podcast discusses future approaches to devolution and the Centre for Inequality and Levelling Up has produced a collection of short essays  offering constructive ideas on how any future government can re-energise levelling up.  

In other news, the Department for Education has reversed its position on ending funding for adult education courses and has also produced a formal reply to the Skills for Jobs consultation. South Yorkshire has been named as the UK's first Investment Zone and a new Levelling Up Delivery Partnership has been launched in the East of England. 


Make It Local 

The LGA’s Make It Local launched by its new Chair, Cllr Shaun Davies focuses on the development of a brand new central-local partnership in which local government can work to its full potential. The LGA’s offer involves a reset of the national local relationship in England and to achieve this it will require: 

  • fully empowered local government 
  • resetting the culture of Whitehall 
  • a new approach to funding and resources. 

The LGA intends to build on this work with the development of a Local Government White Paper, to be published before the next General Election. 

The LGA’s Transformation Experts programme 

The LGA’s new Transformation Experts programme offers bespoke advice and support to local authorities to help them deliver transformation activities 

Devolution map: where are deals progressing? 

The Local Government Chronicle (LGC) spoke to councillors and officers in every part of the country to compile a comprehensive picture of different areas’ ambitions in regard to Devolution Deals.

Working together for the benefit of Hampshire residents must remain our shared priority 

The Leader of Hampshire County Council has underlined the importance of all local authorities across Hampshire and the wider area continuing to work constructively and meaningfully together for the good of local residents.  

North of Tyne mayor quits Labour party 

Jamie Driscoll the North of Tyne mayor has resigned from Labour after being blocked by the party from running for another term in the North East.

Government scraps plans to limit ‘employment only’ adult education outcomes

The Department for Education has reversed its position on ending funding for adult education courses that are not directly linked to employment outcomes. 

South Yorkshire named as first UK Investment Zone 

South Yorkshire could see 8,000 new jobs and an estimated £1.2 billion of funding, after being named as the UK's first Investment Zone. 

Levelling Up Delivery Partnership for the East of England  

An ambitious Levelling Up Delivery Partnership bringing together public and private sector organisations in the East of England, to work alongside Government, was launched on 4 July 2023.  

Is Labour prepared to give away power?  

In the Power Test podcast, hosts Ayesha and Sam are joined by Liverpool regional city mayor Steve Rotherham, ex-Nicola Sturgeon aide Liz Lloyd, and Camden Council Leader Georgia Gould to discuss future approaches to devolution.  

Seven in 10 support more control over local services 

The Effective Governance Forum (EGF) - a new organisation campaigning for greater local control said the poll of more than 2,000 people, supported the call for a 'huge shift of power from the UK’s over-centralised, London-based administration to local government’. 


The art of the devolution deal 

The Institute for Government has produced a report that sets out  how politicians and officials can master the art of the devolution deal to give new devolved institutions a greater chance of success.  

Implementing a new FE funding and accountability system 

The UK Government has produced its formal reply by summarising the responses received to its recent consultation on the ‘Skills for jobs: implementing a new further education funding and accountability system’ policy. 

How Can Labour Level Up  

The Centre for Inequality and Levelling Up (CEILUP) is a new research centre based at the University of West London and has produced a collection of short essays that brings together contributions from former Ministers, leaders from the higher education and voluntary sectors as well as thinkers and organisations from across the political spectrum.  

Sharing ideas

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 is always looking to hear from authorities who already have a devolution deal in place or are starting on their devolution journey to show case their work – especially where this activity will help inform others who may be experiencing similar issues. 

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