Magazine article Public Finance

NLGN Calls for a Rethink on Regional Powers

Magazine article Public Finance

NLGN Calls for a Rethink on Regional Powers

Article excerpt

The 'unfinished business' of regional government needs to be addressed if the potential for economic growth is to be maximised, a leading think-tank said this week.

A New local Government Network report, published on March 5, put forward several options for redesigning regional government, following the 'no' vote in the 2004 Northeast referendum for an elected regional assembly.

The report, Redesigning regionalism: leadership and accountability in English regional governance, concludes that regional development agencies have been successful. It suggests turning them into 'regional executive agencies' and giving them leadership responsibilities for areas such as spatial planning and housing, which are currently managed separately. These powers would need to be matched with better accountability and scrutiny.

Other options in the report include giving powers to local authorities over regional decisions, more Westminster scrutiny of the regional agenda and the creation of 'regional ministers'. …

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