Hickson, James ORCID: 0000-0002-9933-0442

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Double Devolution Report WEB.pdf - Published version

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1. There is a growing policy consensus in favour of ‘double devolution’ – where power and responsibility are transferred, not just from national to regional or local government, but onward to sublocal neighbourhoods and communities too. This is increasingly viewed as important to addressing the United Kingdom’s stark spatial inequalities, particularly in so-called ‘left behind’ places. 2. However, this agenda has, so far, predominantly been considered, and developed, from the ‘topdown’ perspective of national policy actors; often with little reference to the ideas, interests, knowledge and experience of local communities. 3. This report highlights why it is important to consider double devolution from multiple perspectives, and in particular from the ‘bottom-up’ perspective of those local communities to which this agenda is most often addressed. 4. Drawing on insights gathered from participatory workshops with policy experts and community practitioners, the report demonstrates how these different perspectives can reveal different concerns about double devolution. 5. In particular, the report shows how a ‘bottomup’, community perspective can challenge dominant assumptions about double devolution, and highlight specific challenges that, if left unaddressed, may pose a significant barrier to implementation. 6. Chief amongst these is a critical assessment that several key preconditions for effective double devolution may not be present within many disadvantaged communities. Unless these foundations are first reinforced, double devolution may be unlikely to significantly redress spatial inequalities, and could even risk exacerbating them further. 7. This report, therefore, highlights the need to localis the debate, enabling community voices to inform and influence policy discussions around double devolution in their area to a much greater extent. Moreover, it recommends an approach to double devolution that is pluralistic and phased: taking account of multiple different perspectives, and taking time to address critical concerns that arise as this agenda develops further.

Item Type: Report
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2024 13:04
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2024 02:30
DOI: 10.17638/03177811