Devolution 'piecemeal and incoherent’, Lord Kerslake claims

Lord Kerslake has labeled the implementation of devolution across the UK as 'piecemeal and incoherent’ in a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Reform, Decentralisation and Devolution.

The cross-party group was set up to consider the future of the UK and widen the debate on how to improve local governance.

The report, entitled ‘Devolution and the Union: A higher ambition’, has called for a more ‘coherent’ approach to devolution, warning that there is a lack of consistency and clarity regarding devolved powers.

The group concluded that a significant shift of power to local level is essential for devolution to work, which should include greater fiscal autonomy for local areas.

Lord Kerslake said: “Greater devolution has the potential to deliver a stronger economy, better services and a stronger Union. But what we are doing now is piecemeal and incoherent.

“As we lead up to the EU referendum and consider our identity within Europe, the need for a wider debate on how we better empower our local areas and govern is greater than ever.

“The time has come for a bigger conversation – one involving all citizens - if we want to reduce the gap between those that govern and those that are governed, and ensure devolution has a strong and lasting legacy whatever the result in June.

“Better and successful devolution across the whole UK cannot happen without a willingness to embrace radical and far reaching change.”