Co-founder, life-president Community Links Kevin Jenkins is drawn to a borough alliance


- Credit: Archant

The developing North East strategic alliance – a coalition of eight East London boroughs – Newham, Tower Hamlets, Enfield, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Havering , Barking and Dagenham and Greenwich is an interesting and potentially for reaching step towards devolution governance to a sub-regional local level.

Drawing on their previous success of working together, initially on the 2012 Olympics and other strategic initiatives since them their recently published prospectus Local London. Driving growth through devolution makes an excellent case as to why the past area of London with a combined population 2.2 million, which is larger than most cities, is special and by exploiting the knowledge, skills and expertise of the alliance boroughs optimistic outcomes will be achieved for the areas residents many of whom remain disadvantaged and living in the most deprived areas of London despite all the regeneration opportunities over the past 10 years.

Six core principles for devolution are highlighted including individual Borough Sovereignty is retain, efficiency in that devolution will only happen when services can be delivered better regionally/locally, subsidiarity to increase accountability to the local electorate and maximise local knowledge, more devolved powers and no new bureaucracy.

They highlight in detail six key areas where devolution should be considered and explored- employment, education and skills, business growth, housing, transport and health and social care.

While I believe we should welcome such an initiative there needs to be clear structures that hold the boroughs to account and to ensure that communities at the local level are consulted and engaged. Otherwise there is no real risk that the partnership evolves into just another increasing expensive level of governance that achieves nothing.

I will continue to observe and hopefully influence. More from Kevin

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