Book News: August 17th, 2006

By John Healey and Chris LeslieBuilding on decentralisation and devolution in Scotland, Wales and London, the authors suggest a new approach is needed to reflect the evolving role of local government, Regional Development Agencies, regional assemblies, Parliament and Government itself. Seeking to take the debate on regionalism forward, the pamphlet argues for greater devolution to the regions and local government, and greater collaboration within city regions without imposing fixed models or new governance structures on our towns and cities.

The authors propose new powers and flexibilities for local government and Regional Development Agencies, caution on city-region governance models and scepticism about imposing sub-regional mayoral arrangements where they do not fit local identities.

The pamphlet concludes that the challenge now is to show how and why regionalism can be a driving force in tackling the social, economic and political inequalities which persist in England. By reforming existing institutions and using existing elected representatives to shift the focus from Whitehall to the English regions the constitution of the United Kingdom will develop in a healthier, inclusive and fair manner

The pamphlet is published by The New Local Government Network at 20 pounds and is available at: http://www.nlgn.org.uk/nlgn.php