Book Review: Devolution and Localism in England

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In the autumn of 2015 the first Chancellor of a Conservative Government to address a Conservative Party Conference in 18 years, George Osborne, famously, or notoriously, proclaimed that England was in the midst of a devolution revolution. The devolution revolution is now the cornerstone of the government’s attempts to re-balance the economy. Growth and City Deals (agreed between Whitehall and local levels of Government), Enterprise Zones, Neighbourhood Planning areas and the government’s commitment to fiscal decentralisation have signalled potentially the biggest decentralisation of power, responsibility and finance in living memory. Illustrating the ambiguity in these new arrangements, there is some debate in relation to the financial potency of these new provisions, compared with the previous era of Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). While the allocation of direct funding under devolution deals is certainly dwarfed by the Single Pot under the repealed RDAs, this is more than made up for with the £26 billion Business Rate receipts decentralised to local authorities under the Business Rate Retention Scheme. However, the equalisation of these receipts between local authorities is less straightforward in the lead up to the full roll-out of the scheme in 2020 where an area-based division between winners and losers is likely.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-256
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of People Place and Policy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2016


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