What will a new Prime Minister ever do for Local Government?

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What will a new Prime Minister ever do for Local Government?

The chaos of resignations that preceded Boris’ departure from Number Ten had at least one benefit, which was the return of Greg Clark as the Secretary of State for Local Government.  Greg held the post a few years back, after which he moved to BEIS, where he carried on some of his work – particularly around devolution.

Sadly, his tenure might be very short lived, but I hope that whoever replaces Boris as PM has a serious thought about keeping Greg in the role.  I worked with Greg during my time as Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, finalising the Cambridge City Deal and he impressed me.  He is a clear believer in devolution and was the mastermind behind the creation of the Elected Mayors and Combined Authorities.  Whilst those structures are not perfect, they certainly have started to make a positive difference in most of the areas where they exist; in particular in getting money and decisions made at a more local level – something that is absolutely critical given that we are often cited as the most centralised Nation in the Western World.

In his role as part of a caretaker Government there is little that Greg can do to make a positive change, but it would be great to see his thinking evolve a bit more once we have a new PM.  In a department that has had twenty different secretaries of state in twenty years, bringing a previous incumbent back might also give some stability.

About Author:

Martin is Associate Director – Planning Communications and leads on our work for clients across the East of England and the East Midlands. If you would like to get in touch, please drop him an email.

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