The report will be launched by Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Party. The report points to increasing all-party consensus over decentralisation and devolution in England and sets out a 10 year roadmap to devolve powers over:
- The economy
- Education and skills
- The Work Programme
- Criminal justice, probation and the police
The report argues that a new wave of combined authorities should be established, including ‘county combined authorities’ in two-tier areas, with all combined authorities setting out clear plans for partnership-working and enhanced democratic accountability. It says that decentralisation should be ‘asymetrical’ because not every area will want, or be able, to proceed at the same pace.
Ed Cox, Director of IPPR North, commented: "Whichever way Scotland votes next week, Edinburgh will get new powers and widen the gap with local leaders across England. England has waited patiently while Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been given ever great devolution. Now is the time to redress the balance and devolve powers to English city-regions."
Continuing Mr Cox said: "England’s eighty year experiment with centralisation has failed. It’s England’s turn for a ‘devo-more’ moment and there is a growing political consensus in Westminster on the need to answer ‘the English question’. Our plan for a decade of devolution is a practical roadmap that politicians can rally round."