PwC comments on Cities Devolution Bill announcement

Published at 18:35 PM on 14 May 2015

Commenting on the announcement today of a Cities Devolution Bill to be included in the Queen’s Speech, Jonathan House, local government director, PwC, commented:

***See below for findings from the PwC survey of local government leaders on devolution released March 2015.*** 

“The Chancellor’s announcement about the movement of power to our cities confirms that the momentum behind devolution looks set to continue through this Parliament.

“With power, comes responsibility – and that will need to reshape the very nature of how services are delivered at a local level.

While governance structures are important and the issue of accountability should not be overlooked, discussions about governance and elected mayors should not become the centre of attention and distract from the real benefits that devolution can bring to citizens and businesses alike.

“Devolution is not just about logistics and governance, but a transformation of the leadership of these places too. It’s identifying how the city wants to define itself and delivering services differently, joining up all the elements of the jigsaw to deliver an improved outcome, not a service.

“Being clear about the outcome and not the governance is what will improve lives and increase growth.

“Manchester has taken the lead, and other local government agencies are testing the water – but this is not for the faint-hearted, and it is also not just about core cities. L ocal areas need to ensure they understand the potential of the levers of power being devolved and that they have the capacity and capability to deliver the dividend decentralisation offers, particularly in terms of local leadership.

“Devolution, particularly in England, will turn the well-established definitions of power, control and responsibility on its head. It means places not being seen as bringing problems for the country but as bringing the solutions.”

  • PwC’s annual survey of local government chief executives and leaders in March 2015 showed a high degree of scepticism about devolution, with only 22% agreeing that there would be significant devolution of powers and responsibilities to local government by 2020.
  • Three quarters of local authorities agree that their focus should be on outcomes rather than service delivery (2015 75% vs 2014 59%).
  • Only a third of chief executives are confident they have a good understanding of the cost of securing outcomes across their area.
  • Download the full report here

For further comment or interview, please contact Rowena Mearley + 44 7841 563 180

Rowena Mearley

PwC | Senior Manager - Media Relations
Government and Public Services
Office: +44 207 213 47 27 | Mobile: + 44 7841 563 180 | Fax:
Email: [email protected] 



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