More devolution on the way, says Kelly
Regeneration & Renewal
The Government is sending a message that it is keen to devolve greater powers to local structures that are effective and are accountable, according to communities secretary Ruth Kelly.
Kelly told Regeneration & Renewal that the decision had been made to devolve further powers to London’s mayor because the ‘structure in London has worked’.
She added: ‘This shows that the Government is absolutely committed to devolving powers, and more is definitely on the agenda. However, the checks and balances have to be there in the form of clear lines of accountability and very good local leadership.’
Many of England’s largest city regions have been negotiating a ‘new deal’ with government over increased freedoms. But some favour city-regional bodies without a directly elected leader.
Dermot Finch, Centre for Cities director at think-tank the Institute for Public Policy Research, said: ‘Ruth Kelly now supports elected mayors. Manchester, Birmingham and others should take note.’