Sunday, 10 April 2016

Devolution: a distinct lack of enthusiasm for a metro mayor

The issues around devolution have been dominating the local political arena:
Futures Forum: Devolution and Local Enterprise Partnerships: "there are some very worrying questions being raised by all of this"
Futures Forum: Devolution, unitary authorities and the East Devon & Dorset National Park
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and the longer-term demise of district councils... Dorset County likely to go unitary after West Dorset District Council spends £10m on a new HQ

Over the past weeks, the EDW blog has been reporting on the stories on a daily basis - regularly asking pertinent questions:

Who guards the LEP guards? Owl has the answer! | East Devon Watch

How badly is the Hinkley deal going?
More Hinkley C information | East Devon Watch
Stop Hinkley Welcome

How enthusiastic is the East Devon's CEO about an elected mayor?
“Bluffer’s Guide to Devolution” | East Devon Watch

Devolution update 
The Chief Executive updated members on progress of the Devolution Prospectus. 
Discussions included the following: 
 this was the path for improvement and gaining better services 
 for business growth and to attract new businesses connectivity was essential 
 simplified processes; brings decision making back to local level 
 would add an extra layer of council work and bureaucracy 
 dissatisfied with the present social and economical situation, this was a chance to make things better for the people of East Devon 
 major regional issues could be influenced e.g. transport and health, solving problems 
 Plymouth and Exeter were large cities – would rural areas get the same choices? 
 allowed for the exploring of issues and was a definite way forward for the District. 
RESOLVED: that the update report be noted and that Cabinet and the Audit & Governance Committee be provided with details (when available) of the proposed briefing meetings. 
REASON: This was an ongoing process. It was proposed to hold briefing sessions for members of the 19 local authorities and nominations were sought. 

The Economist explains: Why Britain is copying America's "metro mayors" | The Economist
Council poised to reject metro mayor devolution deal? - News - Weston Mercury
East Anglia ‘must accept mayor’ to secure devolution cash, says minister - Lynn News
Senior Tory MP Liam Fox opposes Metro Mayor devolution deal for west of England | Bath Chronicle

What are the decisions to be made about Hinkley?
Hinkley C: definitely maybe but then again, maybe not … | East Devon Watch
French energy minister: delaying Hinkley Point C still ‘under discussion’ | UK news | The Guardian
Hinkley C: China sets up 7 London-based companies | East Devon Watch
Hinkley Point: China incorporates seven London-based firms | UK news | The Guardian

How is the Local Enterprise Partnership's roadshow going?
The LEP Pop up cafe in Exeteron 6 April 2016 just popped down | East Devon Watch
Heart of the South West Pop Up Business Cafe / Exeter Registration, Wed, 27 Apr 2016 at 08:00 | Eventbrite

Devolution: how can you devolve health care when it’s already been devolved? | East Devon Watch
Will a new public health pilot tackle Plymouth's historic underfunding? | Plymouth Herald

How do Local Plans fit into the devolution process?
Expert Group recommends all Local Plans are signed off before devolution begins | East Devon Watch

What about the Independents' views?
East Devon Alliance on “devolution” | East Devon Watch
EAST DEVON: East Devon Alliance slams local enterprise partnerships - Pulman's View from Sidmouth

Tata today, EDF tomorrow? | East Devon Watch
Port Talbot is a big problem. But so is Hinkley Point | UK news | The Guardian

LEP Conflict of interest? Not when you all share the same interest it seems! | East Devon Watch

How costly is the Hinkley project?
Hinkley C just got even more expensive | East Devon Watch
Energy giant is facing £2bn rise in Hinkley project cost | | The Times & The Sunday Times

What does the Transition Town movement think?
Devolution and LEPs – more worrying insights | East Devon Watch
Bob Hudson on Devolution: "there are some very worrying questions being raised by all of this" | Transition Network

Is EDF united in its attitude to Hinkley?
Hinkley C: the damning views of its own French engineers | East Devon Watch
Dissenting EDF engineers urge delay to Hinkley nuclear project - FT.com
EDF tensions over Hinkley Point C are laid bare - FT.com

Is our LEP already in the doggie dirt? | East Devon Watch

What are the alternatives to Hinkley?
“Five ways to power the UK that are far better than Hinkley Point” | East Devon Watch
Five ways to power the UK that are far better than Hinkley Point | Environment | The Guardian

What about consultation?
Devolution: the next 5 years – councillors should be ashamed of themselves for signing us up with no consultation | East Devon Watch
House of Commons - Devolution: the next five years and beyond - Communities and Local Government Committee

Questions from another local authority:
Gateshead asks sensible questions before committing to devolution | East Devon Watch
Gateshead knocks back George Osborne over devolution deal for North East | UK Politics | News | The Independent

And still more quesitons from the House of Commons:
More alarm bells on devolution – from Parliament | East Devon Watch
Devolution confusion | East Devon Watch
House of Commons - Communities and Local Government Committee - Devolution: the next five years and beyond - First Report of Session 2015–16

All roads lead to Hinkley C? | East Devon Watch


And what do you know – EDF shoulders part of Chinese investment risk | East Devon Watch
EDF to take on part of Chinese partner's risks on Hinkley Point - paper | Reuters
Électricité de France - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
AGENCE-PARTICIPATIONS-ETAT - Les participations publiques | Le portail des ministères économiques et financiers

And what about the Chinese?
City regulators jittery about Chinese investors – watch out LEP! | East Devon Watch

And the consequences for health care?
Lewisham GP warns against devolution and health care | East Devon Watch
NHS reform: Devolution is not the only path to integrated healthcare | GPonline

Plymouth is asking questions about the "lack of lack of transparency and insufficient resourcing":
Regional newspapers pick up story on criticism of LEPs – our LEP fights back | East Devon Watch
Secrecy and confusion inside £400m plan for the future of Devon and Cornwall? | Plymouth Herald

Could our Local Enterprise Partnership end up running our schools? | East Devon Watch

UK winter floods cost councils £250 million -what is our LEP’s role in building flood resilience ? | East Devon Watch

And what about "the independence of local government "?“New report calls for legal framework for devolution” | East Devon Watch
New report calls for legal framework for devolution

What do the auditors think about the lack of transparency?
National Audit Office criticism of Local Enterprise Partnerships in more detail | East Devon Watch

How widespread and how deep are concerns?
Devolution continues to cause chaos | East Devon Watch
Durham defers devolution deal | East Devon Watch
Gateshead and Sunderland join Durham pausing devolution deal | East Devon Watch
Grimsby not happy about devolution | East Devon Watch
Financial Times exposes devolution anxiety amongst Tories | East Devon Watch

What about 'democracy' asks the New Economics Forum?
“Democracy: the missing link in the devolution debate” | East Devon Watch
Democracy: the missing link in the devolution debate | New Economics Foundation

And finally, from a report from 21st March, how coherent is the devolution deal?
Devolution: more concerns | East Devon Watch

Kerslake calls for “radical and far reaching” devolution

Richard Johnstone 21 Mar 16

The current range of devolution initiatives in the UK are “piecemeal and incoherent” former civil service chief Lord Kerslake has said.

He also argued that the government should use the aftermath of the forthcoming EU referendum to address the country’s major constitutional challenges.

Publishing a report from a cross-party group set up to consider the future of the UK’s constitution, Kerslake called for a wider debate on how to better empower local areas and improve governance.

The All-Party Political Group on Reform, Decentralisation and Devolution concluded that a significant shift of power from national to local level is essential as part of a coherent and ambitious approach to devolution. This would need to include much greater fiscal autonomy for local areas to overcome decades of centralisation.

Today’s Devolution and the Union paper warns that greater localism can only succeed if members of the public believe their local areas – not Whitehall – are leading it.

Kerslake calls for “radical and far reaching” devolution | Public Finance

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