Devolution of public services: how far can it go?

On the 15 March 2017, Reform held a high level roundtable on ‘Devolution of public services: how far can it go?’, led by Jim McMahon MP, Shadow Minister for Local Government and Devolution.

Devolution is at a juncture. The Coalition Government aimed to devolve a wide range of powers over public services to local leaders – from healthcare to welfare-to-work. Despite this, central control of spending has been extended as funding targets have tightened – resulting in a lack of room for local commissioners to design new services. As Jim McMahon MP has recognised, devolution will not improve public services if “it is then followed by a slew of central government diktats overriding new-found freedoms”.

With people from across the political spectrum identifying devolution as an opportunity to deliver locally tailored, integrated services for users, the question becomes: how far can devolution of public services go?

This event explored how government can overcome current challenges to devolving services and opportunities for further devolution. The roundtable was held under the Chatham House Rule.


15 March 2017
10.00 - 11.15