Devolution hindered by endless change, IfG concludes

A report by the Institute for Government (IfG) has warned that endless ‘tinkering’ by the government in sub-regional policy has hindered the effectiveness of the devolution of powers.

All change examined three policy areas which have experienced near-constant upheaval and highlighted a ‘staggering amount of change’ across regional government and industrial policy.

In the report, the IfG outlined: “In the space of just over 20 years, the main vehicles for regional governance have included government offices, regional assemblies, regional development agencies and, currently, local enterprise partnerships.

“The governance of public services has been so continually rearranged that scholars have termed the phenomenon redisorganisation.”

According to the report, reasons provided for the churn include: disagreement about the purpose of regional government; conflict over the tier of government to which powers should be devolved; people demanding different things from regional government; opposition from incumbent local politicians; and Whitehall’s unwillingness to trust local organisations.

IfG programme director, Emma Norris, commented: “This churn is not simply the result of changes in government.

“It highlights persistent weaknesses in our system of government: the tendency to change and recreate rather than commit to stable, well-evidenced policy.”

Event Diary

The Emergency Services Show has developed over the past decade to offer emergency workers a great place to network and learn.

Safety & Health Expo, the UK's no.1 health and safety event and conference, satisfies everyone and anyone with a health, safety and wellbeing remit, whether you're an officer, advisor, CEO, distributor, consultant, head of department, director or manager.

IFSEC International gives you exclusive hands-on access to over 10,000 security solutions, live product demonstrations, and networking with over 27,000 security professionals.