A group of modernisers in local government are calling for a change in thinking about the development of England’s regional communities. The New Local Government Network is hosting a conference at the Cumberland Hotel in London today (Thursday, July 13) in which it will call on the Government to re-think its plans for the development of regional government.So far there are eight year old Regional Development Agencies in England, with a largely economic-led brief. The NLGN argues that the requirement is for smaller units than these, with elected mayors leading each one.
The conference will see the launch of a new report by Professor Alan Harding, “Is there a ‘missing middle’ in English governance?”. That report says that while England has no major demand for localised law-making bodies as set up in Scotland and Wales, there is a strong case for a new tier of government to tackle the systemic difficulties of poor education, high levels of crime, transport failure and the cultural stagnation.