Devolution Services

Posted on March 15, 2016 by toast.

Devolution: diagnostic

Why is this important?

The devolution process is unpredictable. But the more you can understand and give assurance about how governance and decision-making will work in any new arrangement, the better prepared you will be to manage that uncertainty. “Stress testing” plans and proposals, and looking at those plans through the lens of governance, will make negotiations with Government easier, and delivery easier too.

Outline of our offer.

We can help you to evaluate your devolution proposals from a governance perspective. We can help to predict where flashpoints are likely to occur and how they might be overcome. We can help you to ensure that you have a robust process in place for managing relationships with government.

For when the negotiations are complete, we can carry out a similar exercise for your long-term, more permanent governance arrangements. We can use the establishment of a “governance framework” as a way to organise discussions on governance which might otherwise focus unduly on structures (such as the presence, or otherwise, of a Mayor) at the expense of thinking about the more intangible issues of culture and relationships – critical to getting governance right. We can ensure that meaningful accountability, transparency and involvement are at the centre of the system.

Devolution: setting the structures

Why is this important?

Culture and behaviours are important, but when everyone has a common understanding of what they want to achieve, it is agreement on the structures that will help you to embed devolution arrangements in your area. These structural discussions can often be a flashpoint, risking the derailment of the whole deal.

Outline of our offer.

We can help you to work through the various structural models and options for getting governance and scrutiny – mediating between competing local interests where necessary. The discipline of the development of a governance framework will provide a foundation for weighing up different models, once an initial deal is signed off. Robust but light-touch accountability for a Mayor? Systems to hold partners to account – and to work constructively with your LEP (or LEPs)? Clear structures for involving non-executive councillors, and the public, in developing policy and handling performance concerns? We can help with all of it.

Devolution: from start to finish

Why is this important?

Plans change, frequently. You are likely to encounter capacity issues as you struggle to manage competing interests, and to develop a common understanding of how devolution will help you to deliver the outcomes you are looking for. Flexibility is the watchword – the need to plan and implement devolution arrangements in a way that may look very different to a traditionally-managed local government project. Outline of our offer. We can provide support and assistance as and when, right from the agreement of the geographical footprint of any deal, through its agreement, to its coming into force. We can help you to manage disagreements and relationships, providing an independent voice to mediate where necessary. We canwork with you week by week, providing advice and guidance, recognising that opportunities may arise for our input at short notice.

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