Commenting on the Chancellor’s speech today setting out the key planks of a Cities Devolution Bill in the upcoming Queen’s Speech, Paul Raynes, Policy Director at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, said:
"The Chancellor is right to set out a formal framework through which further English devolution will take place. For too long devolution deals have been hammered out behind closed doors leaving local communities and businesses in the dark. A bottom-up approach with local areas taking leadership in determining their futures is more likely to be entrenched and to succeed. More importantly, these new governance arrangements must engage effectively with businesses to ensure decisions are taken with one eye on what will work on the ground to deliver growth.
"Today’s announcement should not be seen as 'job done' on English devolution, however. There are Local Enterprise Partnerships right across the country spearheading growth outside cities. Alternative arrangements beyond elected Mayors must be explored to ensure all areas of England can be Powerhouses of more balanced growth.”