How should English devolution evolve over the coming decade? Regional policy remains central to good strategic governance in England and following the ‘no’ vote for an elected assembly in the North East in 2004, new efforts are needed to ensure that a collaborative, inclusive approach – rather than an imposed or exclusive approach – are taken.
Arguing for caution on the relevance of a ‘city regions’ approach to more than a few areas in England, the authors believe that local government and Regional Development Agencies need to work in new ways to ensure that decision-making drives growth and prosperity and does not impede coordinated, collegiate working between alliances of towns and cities.
Parliament and local government will always be the primary ‘poles’ around which the UK constitution will revolve. Parliamentary reform must therefore be considered as a means of redressing the accountability gap in the regions.
As a means of strengthening our economy and improving public service delivery, it is our concern for full employment social justice in every region, city and town that demands we renew the case for regionalism.