Following on from the Government’s Sub National Review of Economic Development and Regeneration, this new publication from the New Local Government Network (NLGN) brings together leading participants to debate the challenges facing regional and sub-regional governance in England. The essay collection offers the first reactions to the Sub National review, and the hopes and concerns of the local and regional community from across the spectrum. Contributors include Nick Raynsford MP, Alison Seabeck MP, Andrew Stunell MP, Ken Livingstone, Cllr Mick Henry from Gateshead, Sir Richard Leese and Howard Bernstein from Manchester and Lord Hanningfield from Essex.
In the report, The Age of Regions? Rethinking governance in England, NLGN welcomes the positive changes and recommendations in the Sub National Review. Chris Leslie, Director of the NGLN argues that:
“The changes at Whitehall and Parliamentary level are important. But equal and balancing changes are now needed to galvanise local authority leaders into stronger ownership of the regional stage. So as the debate on the Sub National Review continues over the coming months we will be pressing further for:
- the new Commons Regional Committees to co-opt Local Authority Leaders onto their membership – such a hybrid could create the fusion between national and local elected representatives which would revolutionise the way regional decision-making is overseen;
- flexibility for council leaders to determine their own regional forum;
- a statement from each Regional Minister setting out their ambitions and approach to the new role over the next three years; and
- a decision on the budgets that will be devolved to any new sub-regional, city-region or ‘Multi Area Agreement’ groupings, and the explicit criteria required to unlock this devolution.”