“For the last couple of years there has been a clear direction of travel driven by DCLG and by George Osborne at the Treasury: more devolution, more local powers and concomitantly less money from central government and more emphasis on local income.
Things feel very different now. The Conservatives seem to have gone walkabout on devolution. Theresa May’s government have maintained a gnomic silence on most of these issues.
This morning’s speeches at the Conservative conference from the Chancellor and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government provided us with a statement of intention but have not provided us with a clear direction of travel on devolution. Never has the gap between an intention and a plan been wider.
Central government needs to support councils in reforming and delivering local services and in giving people and communities the ability to help shape their local areas.”