Can Localism Deliver?

Lessons from Manchester

The report, entitled ‘Can Localism Deliver: The Example of Manchester’, with a foreword from Lord Heseltine, offers 10 lessons which should be learnt nationally from the Greater Manchester City Region. The other key recommendations include:

- Regional Development Agencies should be scrapped and their powers devolved

RDAs need to be disbanded, with their powers and budgets devolved to local government – including cities where appropriate. Direct control over regeneration investment and strategic planning, in addition to powers over skills and transport policy should be devolved.

- Funding must follow outcomes

Funding needs to be based upon outcomes rather than institutions. This could for example be achieved through pooled budgeting. Policy failures have occurred in the past because government schemes failed to take into account the particular needs of localities.

- Business rates should be re-localised

Local government needs greater extra financial incentives and economic freedoms to deliver their aims more effectively. This can be achieved through re-localising business rates, in addition to allowing councils to keep savings from the Operational Efficiency Programme.

- Central government must end the obsession with equalisation

Equalisation has the potential to damage the strength of the national economy, and can focus funding on schemes which have little or no beneficial outcomes. Investment should focus on connecting places to economic hubs – for example through improved transport links.

James Morris, Chief Executive of Localis, comments:

“This vision for city governance represents an important step to moving Britain towards the localist future it now desires. Local government – including city regions such as Greater Manchester - requires new powers and responsibilities to achieve this aim”.


Click here to view the publication

Click here to view the '10 Lessons from Manchester'

Click here to view the press release

  • "Localis is fast gaining a reputation for pre-empting the localist agenda, producing thought provoking research and practical policy ideas"Anthony Seldon, author and political commentator
  • "Localis’ commitment to decentralisation crosses party boundaries, and their research illuminates policy problems with new practical thinking"Prof George Jones, LSE
  • "Localis offers a great blend of a passion for innovation, grounded practical ideas and unswerving belief in the possibilities of local governance"Derek Myers, Chief Executive, Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea


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