1. Localism and Sub National
A new start or a cover for
2. • Central government is the dominant actor in regional
• Collective action and identity appears to be as much
rooted in localities and different cities within the region
than the regional level, with internal and inwards
looking divisions and animosities appearing to
dominate. The basic conditions for building a mode of
governance are therefore not strong
• There is, of course, no single best level for government
organisation anywhere. Nevertheless, there is evidence
from other OECD countries to suggest that governance
arrangements at a metropolitan or functional urban
level make sense for issues such as housing, transport,
economic development, culture, organisation of retail,
environment, universities, and land use planning
OECD Review of Newcastle in the North East
3. OECD Review of Newcastle in the North East
• The reality is that not all communities will benefit equally from the
region’s growth…..it is for example clear that growth is coming form the
urban core of the region and this is likely to continue.
• The concentration of growth and related resources in the City of
Newcastle (and Tyne and Wear County) suggests that in building the
critical mass, the city region should strengthen the role of the urban core
as the growth centre in building the critical mass.
• A focus on high technology sectors suggests a spatial concentration of
development in the urban core of the region, with an accompanying
transport strategy so as to improve the connectivity in the region and
beyond, thereby enhancing the spatial mobility of the population
• [However] there is an ambivalence and lack of consensus in the region
about the role of Newcastle in the region’s future.
• Finally, as the strategy requires choices to be made as to where (and
where not) to put resource, a high degree of transparency in decision
making, and political support are required
4. ’04 – ’10
(or what part of ‘NO’?)
• Ministers for the Regions, Regional Grand & Select
Committees, Integrated Regional Strategies, Regional Forum
of Local Authority Leaders, Regionalisation of Funding
Allocations, Transport Strategies, LSC, Business Link,
• Core Cities / City Regions / Sub Regions / Multi Area
• A new statutory economic ‘duty’ for local authorities. Local
Asset Backed Vehicles, Supplementary Business Rates,
• City Development Companies, Economic Prosperity Boards
5. ‘Government regional economic policy aims
to narrow the gap in growth rates across the
country. But this fails to recognise that
economic performance has always been
uneven. The ranking of cities’ economic
performance has changed little over the
years - cities have always grown at different
rates, and they always will. Despite a long-
term commitment to regional convergence,
and billions of pounds of investment by
RDAs, Local Authorities and other public
bodies, little progress has been made’.
Centre for Cities (2010) Cities Outlook 2010 page 17
6. Transition of Government?
• Technology Strategy Board / Strategic Investment Fund
• Technology Innovation Centres and Regional Growth Funds
• Business Support Simplification Project
• Abolition of LSC (and creation of YPLA and SFA)
• Abolition of Regional Cultural Consortia & regional Arts Councils
• The ‘top-slice’ of RDA budgets to pay for housing investments in the South
East and the response to the closure of Teesside steel works
• UK Finance for Growth (UKFG), UK Growth Capital Fund & UK Innovation
7. Local growth: realising
every place’s potential
"Our vision for local enterprise
will help transform the economic
of the country by creating a new local
dynamism that will encourage economic
growth and protect business with proper
8. Local Enterprise Partnerships
• working with Government to set out key investment priorities, including transport
• coordinating proposals or bidding directly for the Regional Growth Fund;
• supporting high growth businesses, for example through …..new growth hubs;
• making representation on the development of national planning policy and ensuring business
is involved in the development and consideration of strategic planning applications;
• lead changes in how businesses are regulated locally;
• strategic housing delivery, including pooling and aligning funding streams to support this;
• working with local employers, Jobcentre Plus and learning providers to help local workless
people into jobs;
• coordinating approaches to leveraging funding from the private sector;
• exploring opportunities for developing financial and non-financial incentives on renewable
energy projects and Green Deal; and
• becoming involved in delivery of other national priorities such as digital infrastructure.
9. Localism? or a cover
for continued renationalisation?
• LEPs? For what purpose? Whose criteria?
• LEPs? What powers, (real) status, functions & money?
• (National) Regional Growth Fund
• Renationalisation of venture capital, business support,
tourism, inward investment, international trade, sector
policy, transport investments, employment programmes,
• Abolition of Government Offices?
10. Ongoing Challenges?
• Much local delivery through agents of national government (Universities,
Colleges, Highways Agency, Job Centre Plus, Skills Funding Agency etc) all
driven by central demands; lacking legitimacy to make difficult spatial decisions
• Departmentalism: What real traction from Depart. Communities & Local
Government compared to HM Treasury, Cabinet Office, DBIS, DWP? What
impact of divergent and revolving Ministers?
• (Usually) risk averse local government of limited leverage, financial capacity,
freedoms (and leadership?)
• No formal power hierarchy of local government. Ducking the political pain of hard
administrative change and managing political and parochial aspirations.
• Unresolved reconciliation of traditional (HMT led) neo-liberal supply side ‘people’
& ‘firm’ economics with growing importance and political transparency of ‘place’
economy (see New Economic Geography)
• Investing in places of growth & opportunity, or in places of need regardless of
opportunity? Investing where people want growth? Or where growth is not
wanted? Jobs to people? Or people to jobs?
• The continuing economic impact of London