Any proposed movement of resources down from our grossly over centralised government is to be welcomed.However if it is not accompanied by political reform and entrenched devolution to local government in England it can be withdrawn by the centre as quickly as it is promised.
Unelected veto wielding super LEPs ( Heseltinys) as branch offices of Whitehall are not localism of the sort commonplace in most Western democracies.Only a Spaderati fearful of local government elected by local people could fail to see the irony in "decentralisation" starting with the top down appointment of 8 extra Whitehall ministers.
The answers are out there, look at our European and north American neighbours, look at devolved settlements within our own Union, look at the reports of Parliament's Local Govt and Political Reform Select Committees, look at the promise of local government even under austerity then put forward a bold vision of liberation which will free the democratic creativity and the economic engine of our localities.This should include-
•Devolution and union as equal guiding principles.
•Local government in England as the vehicle of devolution.
•Independent local government defined in statute.
•Income tax assigned (as in Scotland) to English local councils via DCLG.
Graham Allen MP