Headlines: November 23rd, 2015

The Department for Communities and Local Government has confirmed that communities and parishes will have a role in local authorities’ devolution deals.

James Wharton, DCLG minister, said: “Local parish and town councils must be proactive, be engaged, and seize the opportunity of devolution. They should find the opportunities that exist and drive them forward to the interest of the communities that they represent. That is what devolution is about – it’s a bottom up process. Devolution won’t be done to anyone.

“Devolution is not something that ought to be dictated by government. Devolution is an organic process, something that comes from the bottom up. I would look at organisations such as NALC for spreading best practice or showing best practice and the difference that it can make so that others can adopt it and perhaps improve it.”

Andrea Jenkyns MP said: “I welcome the Government’s devolution proposals which are aimed at giving more power to our communities, however I would like to see more emphasis placed on the work done by local councils, and more of a role for them in devolution.”

Lord Bob Kerslake, the former Sheffield City Council chief executive and permanent secretary at DCLG, who is currently chairing an inquiry into devolution in the UK, commented: “We are interested in what would be the coherent model to devolution in the devolved nations. We have different models in different countries. How can we close the gap between the government and the governed – how do we connect the public with local democracy?”