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Progress on devolution in England


Relaunched inquiry: Progress of Devolution in England

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has relaunched its inquiry into progress on devolution in England. The inquiry will scrutinise the impact of recently agreed devolution agreements and ask if the transfer of further powers to England’s regions can boost local economies and provision of public services.

Since 2014, cities and regions including Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Cornwall have successfully negotiated bespoke devolution deals with the Governments. London gained greater devolved powers following the establishment of an assembly in 2000.

Each devolution deal involves its own arrangements for funding and increased responsibilities, but can include greater powers over areas including business support, planning, transport and health. London, and eight of the ten areas with newly agreed devolution deals, established directly elected mayors to oversee the implementation of new powers.

The inquiry will examine the impact of devolving increased powers in the cities and regions where deals have been agreed, and consider how any benefits can be realised in more areas of the country. It will investigate the effectiveness of the current strategy of developing bespoke deals region by region, and ask if increasing available powers without wider systemic changes would produce similar benefits. The Committee will investigate the roles of directly elected mayors, quality of scrutiny in decision making and public accountability.

Chair of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Clive Betts MP commented:

“The approach the Government has taken is to develop bespoke arrangements for different areas, both in terms of the powers devolved to them and the administrative systems to execute them. We have launched this inquiry to understand the impact of the current approach. Has tailoring devolution to each locality improved decision making, the local economy and public services?

“Most importantly, we want to discover what opportunities there are for improving outcomes across the country. Notably in areas such as transport and health where provision doesn’t match existing local government structures, but also in improving the local economy, environment and infrastructure. We will be looking to see how improved devolution can boost cities and regions, and how it can be implemented more quickly.”

Evidence received for the inquiry in the previous Parliament can be found here.

Upcoming events

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Past events

Monday 25 January 2021
4:00pm Public
Progress on devolution in England - Oral evidence 25 January 2021
  • The Lord Kerslake (Chair at UK2070 Commission)
  • Rt Hon Greg Clark MP
  • Cllr James Jamieson (Chairman at Local Government Association (LGA))
Virtual meeting
Monday 30 November 2020
4:00pm Public
Progress on devolution in England - Oral evidence 30 November 2020
  • Jamie Driscoll (Metro Mayor at North of Tyne Combined Authority)
  • James Palmer (Metro Mayor at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority)
  • Amy Harhoff (Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth at Durham County Council)
  • David Williams (Leader at Hertfordshire County Council)
Room 6, Palace of Westminster
Monday 7 September 2020
4:00pm Public
Progress on devolution in England - Oral evidence 7 September 2020
  • Kate Kennally (Chief Executive at Cornwall Council)
  • Helen Charlesworth-May (Strategic Director for Public Health and Care at Cornwall Council)
  • Sir Richard Leese CBE (Leader at Manchester City Council)
  • Bill McCarthy (North West Regional Director at NHS England)
  • Mr David Phillips (Assistant Director at Institute for Fiscal Studies)
  • Andrew Carter (Chief Executive at Centre for Cities)
  • Guy Ware (Director of Local Government Performance & Finance at London Councils)
The Wilson Room, Portcullis House
Monday 22 June 2020
3:30pm Public
Progress on devolution in England - Oral evidence 22 June 2020
  • Abdool Kara (Executive Leader, Local Services at National Audit Office)
  • Mr Ed Hammond (Director at Centre for Public Scrutiny)
  • Andrew Walker (Head of Research at Local Government Information Unit)
  • Jim Hubbard (Head of Regional Policy at CBI)
  • Simon Parkinson (Chief Executive and General Secretary at Workers’ Education Association)
  • Mike Short (Senior National Officer for Local Government at UNISON)
Virtual meeting

Contact us

Please note that the contact details below are for the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee

  • Email:
  • Phone: 020 7219 1975 (general enquiries) | 020 7219 7556 (media inquiries)
  • Address: Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA