The benefits of English Devolution

DevolutionMy column in the Brighton Argus in a couple of days time calls for a fresh look at devolution in the English nation and specifically as a resident in Sussex for the area over Sussex, Surrey and Kent. It is useful to know what benefits such an approach could offer us and this was declared during an answer to a question in the House of Lords on Wednesday. Most of the regions that have devolved power in the country also have a Mayoral role which is a directly elected role. However in the case of Sussex and Surrey Councillors they are not willing to consider such a role. However whatever the executive ruling of a region the same powers will be released. These include:

  • Integrated transport functions
  • Bus improvement powers including bus franchising
  • Economic development and regeneration powers
  • Power to borrow for transport functions

Along with these four powers that are available to all areas the 8 various areas currently have some of the following powers:

  • Power to raise a precept on council tax to fund mayoral powers
  • Power to pay grant
  • Power to establish Mayoral Development Corporations
  • Power to borrow for any combined authority function
  • Adult education functions
  • Homes England powers around regeneration
  • Power to raise a business rates supplement
  • Strategic planning powers
  • Police & Crime Commissioner functions
  • Fire & Rescue Authority
  • Public health functions
  • Powers in relation to combined authority roads, as defined in legislation

Perhaps as residents in the South East we can begin to be consulted on which powers we would value if the devolution option was presented to us.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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