Published: 10th Jul 2017

Devolution offers opportunities for place-based social policy. Our new report features experiments in the UK and Europe which prove the potential for new metro mayors, if they are prepared to seize the moment, says Tony Armstrong All told, the metro mayoral elections felt like a damp squib. With some regional variation, turnout was around the 30% mark, about par for local elections. So, not matching police and crime commissioner elections as the low watermark for political engagement, but not a bold reinvigoration of local democracy either. There are a few reasons for this. Devolution has always been more of a technocratic exercise than a democratic one. The deals were done in secret without any real public engagement, and their aim has been to grow the local economy rather than empower local people. Getting the public excited was likely to be a challenge from the outset. What’s more, it has felt … (To read the full article, subscribe below)