Following Ditchley’s June 2021 conference Take Back Control Part Two: what needs to be done to renew the British people’s sense of democratic agency and economic opportunity across the country?, we have continued to explore the topic of regional devolution in England, informed by international perspectives in Germany, France, the United States and Canada. The conference gave rise to a pilot programme of conversations and visits to the North East of England to ensure that Ditchley’s global conversations on the renewal of democracy are complemented and informed by conversations on how democracy and the democratic state is working at a more regional and local level.
On Monday 4th April, we summarised Ditchley's regionalism work up to this point in time and presented the interim Regional Devolution paper to a hybrid Ditchley community audience. In the Ditchley tradition, the paper draws on a series of conversations with experts, opinion formers and policy makers, supplemented when appropriate by research, with a list of curated sources appended. The paper does not seek to make prescriptive recommendations, which is the business of politics, but rather suggests areas for cross party consideration and further discussion following publication of the government’s recent Levelling Up White Paper.
The paper can be found here and we hope that you find it useful in your work.