Announcements underline incentives for local authorities to embrace ‘place agenda’

 

Commenting on today’s Budget announcements, David Hutton, Head of Local Government at law firm Bevan Brittan said:

“This is a Budget that clearly places an emphasis on authorities embracing the ‘place agenda’ – finding ways to stimulate economic activity and regional development in their own communities.

“The new wave of further devolution deals announced today – from the West Midlands to Tyneside, and from Manchester to the Oxford corridor – shows us that devolution is not dead. Contrary to some reports, it is still very much alive.

“Further, the Chancellor has unequivocally shown his support for the metro mayor/combined authority model – with half of the £1.7bn Transforming Cities fund earmarked specifically for the six areas with metro mayors.

“We will need to see the detail on how many of today’s announcements will actually work – such as the local industrial strategy, delivery solutions for the new garden towns, and more on the bidding process for discounted authority borrowing for infrastructure projects.

“However, what we see from today is the government’s vision of councils as facilitators and convenors of place and economic strategy. Those that embrace the national agenda have a real possibility of being rewarded with funding.

“It’s game on for authorities around the country.”