The use of large up-front fees and disproportionate deposits has already resulted in significant cost consequences for one care provider.
But that is exactly where we are, with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announcing the Government’s plan for a new City Devolution Bill in a speech delivered in Manchester.
In his speech the Chancellor said a lot of things, including:
“This law will pave the way for Greater Manchester – and, importantly, other cities as well, to take greater control and responsibility over all the key things that make a city work, from transport and housing to skills, and key public services like health and social care.
It means by the end of this year the legal framework will be set so that any city can proceed to implement a Mayoral devolution deal.”
“Greater Manchester has agreed to have a mayor as part of our Northern Powerhouse - and this new law will make that happen.
My door now is open to any other major city who wants to take this bold step into the future.
This is a revolution in the way we govern England.”
But will we have the revolution, and how far will it extend?
The Chancellor’s deal is simple: cities can have more power and greater budgets so long as they agree to a single elected executive mayor to exercise the new powers and spend the new budget. The powers and remit of the participating councils themselves will not be changed, but they will have to work with each other and the mayor to deliver the new resources.
So what will be the keys to a city region gaining the new powers? I suggest the following will be in the mix:
- Desire: there has to be the determination to make the difference in new ways, and not simply do more of the same;
- Competence: the long track record of the councils and other public bodies in the Greater Manchester area working together has instilled the confidence for them to be allowed to blaze the trail;
- Creativity: the Government really does want city and regional leaders to harness the ideas and solutions offered by local businesses, whether large or small, listed or social, grassroots or international;
- Collaboration: doing with and not doing to, being relational, reciprocal and responsible;
- Delivery: it’s not just the powers currently exercised by the Mayor of London that are on offer, but as Greater Manchester is showing, more besides – if NHS budget devolution can happen in the North West, what else could be possible?
- Engagement: if the Government is willing to let go and permit the devolution of its powers, what could councils do more with their communities to allow participative services for the public?
With more devolution to Scotland and Wales as well, it will not be just city region government that will be close to local authorities, communities and other local stakeholders. It will have the effect that government from London will be smaller, but also possibly less remote. Its conversation with the English regions should be more expansive as a consequence.
There is the issue of an elected mayor, leading to presidential government on a city region level, and this is risky. That’s the point! The election of the mayor should create a focus for what really matters; failure does have a higher premium. Risk can bring rewards. Defining and understanding the rewards at the outset clearly and not just following the latest trend will be vital if this is to be more than an expedient experiment.
For more information
Please contact Mark Cook.
The government announced on 16 May that it will provide a fund of £400m to cover the costs of removal and replacement of cladding to high rise residential blocks which have failed tests.
Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.
A big fear for some people facing divorce and the inevitable carving up of the matrimonial assets. They seek assurances that such assets will be “ring-fenced” and retained for them.
Thinking about the legal status of being a cohabitant probably isn’t at the top of the ‘to do’ list.
When an individual is thinking about making a gift to another individual, consideration needs to be given to the Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) trap.
We are now only a few weeks away from the biggest change to data protection laws in over 20 years. Are you compliant?
The tragedy, in this case, is that there were options readily available to the midwives that they could have used. This was not a case of having to go above and beyond.
Arising from the recent Family Division announcement, people who think they are legally divorced may in fact still be married.
The SCCS has issued providers in the scheme a series of updated and new documents in order to assist with their National Minimum Wage review.
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