Headlines: October 17th, 2000

The pioneers of regional government in England have been offered a blank canvas on which to develop what will work best for each area.The guides – or lack of them – arise from some research done for the DETR into what model of regional government would work best.

The Government is committed to move, in time, to directly-elected regional government in England, in those regions where there is clear popular consent as demonstrated in a referendum. The Government has now prepared a review of the research evidence on the subject to help inform public debate.

The key findings are, that lack of clear regional identity need not necessarily prohibit the creation of regional government, and that there is no one form particularly favoured, when international models are examined.

Another key finding is that regional government need not be introduced in a ‘big bang’, which tends to support the mode of delivery now being approached.

Every area of England is now covered by a Regional Development Agency and a Regional Assembly. It is thought these may provide the base for the development of regional government.

The review of current research on regional government is on the web at www.local.detr.gov.uk/research/research.htm