A think tank call for a new deal between Whitehall and local authorities to boost the UK and prevent further division post-Brexit has been backed by the chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).
The RSA Inclusive Growth Commission report said new social contracts should be struck between central and local government to give local areas greater responsibility for, and control over, economic and public services spending.
The Commission believes this would help to make the UK economy more inclusive and beneficial to all.
Cllr Bob Sleigh, chair of the WMCA, said: “Here in the West Midlands we are already seeing the benefits of devolution deal signed last year so I would welcome anything which would see an expansion of them.
““Many of the issues proposed here we have already identified in our talks with the Government over further devolution, such as skills and training and local financing.
“It is therefore heartening that this report shares our belief that the way towards strengthening the UK economy is going to be through strong foundations at a local and devolved level.”
The Commission was chaired by former BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders.
The report, released yesterday (March 7), said successive governments had prioritised broad economic growth instead of ensuring all parts of the nation contribute to, and benefit from it.
A focus on the quantity, rather than quality, of jobs created had helped produce a divided country with some areas feeling left behind.
The report made four sets of recommendations:
Place based industrial strategies
A reset of the relationship between town hall and Whitehall.
This would include:
Inclusive growth at the heart of public investment
Making Inclusive Growth our working definition of success
Further details about the RSA Inclusive Commission can be found here.
The full report can be read here