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Phillip Blond speaks at ‘Declaration for Devolution’

8th May 2015

A Declaration for Devolution

On the 14th May 1787 the first ever Constitutional Convention began in North America, setting out the principles of governance for that country and a new, modern state.

On the 14th May 2015 Core Cities UK, ResPublica and other important and valued partners that have helped advance the ‘place-based’ devolution agenda will meet to discuss a ‘Declaration for Devolution’, intended not just to stimulate debate, but to create a call to action for the new Government.

The call is for nothing less than a radical modernisation of our centralised State, providing the freedom cities and other places need to allow our country to succeed at every level from the global to the neighbourhood.

Devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland continues, raising important questions for England and the whole of the UK.  A new Constitutional Convention or similar process is therefore likely to take place to determine these issues.

Although that is important, we should not delay in unlocking the massive economic potential of cities and other places across the UK, and devolution should continue in parallel with any Constitutional Convention.

The international evidence is clear.  Devolution below the level of nation states is critical to address urgent challenges of driving prosperity, increasing equality, and strengthening democracy.  Cities must be freed from unnecessary central controls whether from Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff Bay or Stormont.

Significant progress has been made but this is a critical moment for that agenda.  The choices we face for devolution are in fact choices about what kind of country we want to live in for the future.

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