‘The Old is Dying and the New Cannot be Born, in this Interregnum a Great Variety of Morbid Symptoms Appear.’ How Can Local Government Survive this Interregnum and Meet the Challenge of Devolution?

“In this paper we argue that the devolution from central government to local city regions marks the end of the old ‘politics as usual’ approach that has underpinned the resilience and effectiveness of the local government institution but failed to engage and energise local politics.”

Local Government in England has long bridled at the restraints on its activities imposed by an over centralised state. Yet now, with the Government proposing to devolve powers and responsibilities to newly established city region governance arrangements, is it a case of be careful what you wish for?

…we pay particular attention to the Manchester model as the ‘poster city’ for devolution yet we question if even this model is sufficient to re-cast local relationships between market and state and state and citizen to enable devolution to bring real economic and social benefits to all in the city region. We conclude by suggesting there are empirical and theoretical grounds for alternative governance approaches more suitable to these times of interregnum.

Published in Representation | N. Headlam | 2015, https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/%E2%80%98The-Old-is-Dying-and-the-New-Cannot-be-Born%2C-in-a-Headlam-Hepburn/7176d31c4225544a978478496ccba85db7d42acd, https://consensus.app/details/paper-argue-devolution-government-city-regions-marks-headlam/0fb038c772ea511a904afaf884c41228/