Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

Progress on devolution in England inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Scope of the inquiry

The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee has launched a new 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 cities and regions can boost local economies and provision of public services.
Since 2014, following plans announced by the Coalition Government to devolve greater powers and funding to local authorities, ten cities and regions in England have successfully negotiated bespoke devolution deals, including Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and Cornwall. 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 responsibility over areas including business support, planning, transport and health. London, and eight of the ten 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.

Terms of reference


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