LEP Network commissions research on Devolution Deals

The Local Enterprise Partnership Network (LEP Network) is commissioning research on the current devolution landscape to help identify emerging models of governance, assess how devolution deals and agreements are being implemented, and gauge how LEPs are operating in the new devolution environments.

The research will examine the role of LEPs in the implementation of deals, and will analyse current models of governance, focus on best practice, and explore the options for the future role of LEPs in this uncharted landscape. The aim is to build a detailed spectrum of the differing devolution models LEPs are involved in, and to establish lessons learnt to help inform and shape future discussions on the formation of Deals.

The LEP Network has sought bids from interested organisations looking to conduct the research. For more detailed information please download the research brief here.

Devolution Deals

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have sponsored the “Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016” which received Royal Assent on 28th January 2016, when it became an Act of Parliament. The Act gives power to the DCLG Secretary of State to agree to proposals from combined authorities who wish to put in place an elected mayor with a term of office of four years.

Devolution Deals and Agreements have been announced by government for the following sub-national areas in England, listed below in alphabetical order (in LEP area(s)) with links to download the relevant documents:

  1. Cambridgeshire & Peterborough (Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough LEP)
  2. Cornwall (Cornwall & Isles of Scilly LEP)
  3. Greater Lincolnshire
  4. Greater Manchester
  5. Liverpool City Region
  6. North East
  7. Sheffield
  8. Tees Valley
  9. West Midlands Combined Authority (covering Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Black Country LEP, Coventry & Warwickshire LEP and The Marches LEP)
  10. West of England

At the LEP March 2016 Conference, The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, said "LEPs are central to driving economic growth and that government will expect to see LEPs driving forward the economic aspects of Devolution Deals".

At the October 2015 Summit, Baroness Williams of Trafford, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said: “LEPs have forged excellent relationships between local businesses and local government that have added significant economic value in local economies across England. Business led LEPs will continue to have a critical role in shaping and implementing devolution deals."

Combined Authorities

The House of Commons has produced a Briefing Paper on Combined Authorities, which summarises ...

Combined authorities are a legal structure that may be set up by local authorities in England. They can be set up with or without a directly-elected mayor. The relevant legislation is the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 and the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016.

Combined authorities may be set up by two or more local authorities. They may take on statutory functions transferred to them by an Order made by the Secretary of State, plus any functions that the constituent authorities agree to share.

The first combined authority to be established was the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, in 2011. Further combined authorities were established in the North-East, West Yorkshire, Sheffield and Liverpool in April 2014.

In 2014-16, the Government has negotiated ‘devolution deals’ with several areas. Each of the existing combined authorities has negotiated a deal. New mayoral combined authorities have been proposed in the Tees Valley, West Midlands, and (in draft form) the ‘North Midlands’ (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire). Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Sheffield and the North-East will introduce a directly-elected mayor as part of their devolution deal.

Orders implementing the devolution deals are anticipated during 2016. Further details of this process can be found in the Library briefing paper Devolution to local government in England.