Survey finds support for more powers to North-East local authorities

The Northern Echo: IPPR North director Ed Cox IPPR North director Ed Cox

MORE than a third of North-East residents believe local authorities should be given more powers, an influential think tank has found.

A report by Newcastle-based IPPR North found that people had almost twice as much trust in councils than in Parliament.

In the North-East, 40 per cent of those asked thought local authorities should be given more powers – the highest percentage of any English region.

In contrast, just 14 per cent thought councils should have fewer powers with 34 per cent in favour of the status quo.

The Future of England Survey also found a strong attachment among North-East residents to their community.

Of those surveyed, almost half - 46 per cent - felt very closely attached to their area - again the highest percentage in England.

The study revealed that 64 per cent of people have trust in local councils, compared to just 36 per cent who trust Parliament.

The report argues in places where powers are clear and territorially defined, such as London, there is a greater sense of local authority effectiveness.

Ed Cox, director of IPPR North, said: “The UK government has now offered new powers and institutions to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London, where social and political identification have been strongest, but this should not be the end of the story.

“The Scottish referendum later in the year is already shining a light on the so called English question; central government should now listen and respond to the public appetite for more powers for the city-regions outside London.”

Commenting on the report, Mark Stephenson, North East Chamber of Commerce policy and research manager, said there was a strong case for certain decisions to be taken on a regional level, rather than have them dictated to the region by Whitehall.

“Infrastructure investment is one example where regional knowledge is essential for deciding investment priorities.

“The findings of this IPPR report are a timely reminder that a wider debate is required on the most effective ways of growing our regional economy.”

Coun Paul Watson, chair of the Association of North East Councils, said the region’s local authorities had been promoting a devolution agenda for many years.

“Local authorities have demonstrated time and again that they are the most efficient part of the public sector and have delivered significant change over many years, and in a range of different ways,” he added.

  • The first meeting of the North-East combined authority, which will have powers over transport, skills and economic development across seven councils and nearly a million people from the River Tees to the Scottish border, will be held at County Hall, Durham, at 2.30pm on Tuesday, April 15. 

Comments (5)

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7:50am Mon 14 Apr 14

jps101 says...

"MORE than a third of North-East residents believe local authorities should be given more powers, an influential think tank has found"

So almost two thirds believe local authorities should be given no more or less powers.
Why does the article conclude there is support?
"MORE than a third of North-East residents believe local authorities should be given more powers, an influential think tank has found" So almost two thirds believe local authorities should be given no more or less powers. Why does the article conclude there is support? jps101
  • Score: 3

9:05am Mon 14 Apr 14

bambara says...

jps101 - how many expressed no opinion. I'd make a guess that the don't knows, and the don't cares are quite a big %.

Far too often we in the north find ourselves subject to rules impossed to fit the requirements of London and the South-East.
A classic example is when you look at a new housing estate with all the houses crammed together and next to no parking. The need to cram houses together in the SE has driven the rules regarding housing density. No such need exists in the NE, there is plenty of room up here, but we are bound by rules made to fit the SE.
jps101 - how many expressed no opinion. I'd make a guess that the don't knows, and the don't cares are quite a big %. Far too often we in the north find ourselves subject to rules impossed to fit the requirements of London and the South-East. A classic example is when you look at a new housing estate with all the houses crammed together and next to no parking. The need to cram houses together in the SE has driven the rules regarding housing density. No such need exists in the NE, there is plenty of room up here, but we are bound by rules made to fit the SE. bambara
  • Score: 8

11:53am Mon 14 Apr 14

David Lacey says...

For powers read money. It is all about money. The councils want their hands on more of your cash - make no mistake. Watch out for the minutes of tomorrow's inaugural meeting of the "Super Council" (if they are published) it will be about getting more money from Westminster and residents to spend on themselves.
For powers read money. It is all about money. The councils want their hands on more of your cash - make no mistake. Watch out for the minutes of tomorrow's inaugural meeting of the "Super Council" (if they are published) it will be about getting more money from Westminster and residents to spend on themselves. David Lacey
  • Score: -1

5:30pm Mon 14 Apr 14

st-george1 says...

Who does one believe … the unknown IPPR think tank or the socialist Northern Echo when they say that ONE in THREE = 33% of North-East residents believe local authorities should be given more powers … so TWO in THREE = 66% believe local authorities should be given less powers … now that’s supposed to be democracy and that's why the NE Regional Assembly was a disasterous failure, Labour style !
Who does one believe … the unknown IPPR think tank or the socialist Northern Echo when they say that ONE in THREE = 33% of North-East residents believe local authorities should be given more powers … so TWO in THREE = 66% believe local authorities should be given less powers … now that’s supposed to be democracy and that's why the NE Regional Assembly was a disasterous failure, Labour style ! st-george1
  • Score: 0

10:30pm Mon 14 Apr 14

Graeme_r says...

How many people were actually surveyed, i.e what is the sample size? And were those samples a true life distribution of all the various social groupings and associated demographics? Well if you are in need of some bedtime reading see http://www.ippr.org/
images/media/files/p
ublication/2014/04/E
ngland-local-dimensi
on_Apr2014_12120.pdf According to the report "All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,600 English adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd - 28th November 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all English adults (aged 18+).

So I would imagine it amounts to less than 500 people in the North East.
How many people were actually surveyed, i.e what is the sample size? And were those samples a true life distribution of all the various social groupings and associated demographics? Well if you are in need of some bedtime reading see http://www.ippr.org/ images/media/files/p ublication/2014/04/E ngland-local-dimensi on_Apr2014_12120.pdf According to the report "All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 3,600 English adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd - 28th November 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all English adults (aged 18+). So I would imagine it amounts to less than 500 people in the North East. Graeme_r
  • Score: 0

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