Westminster Social Policy Forum

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The future for devolution in England - lessons learned, policy development, funding, infrastructure, economic recovery, and tackling regional inequalities

September 2021


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


When it happened…


Wednesday, 8 September 2021


What delegates came to discuss…


This conference will discuss the future for devolution and priorities for supporting growth in left-behind regions - including what is needed for economic recovery in the wake of the pandemic.


It will be an opportunity to discuss key issues for:


  • the proposed Levelling Up White Paper, due to be published later this year, which will set out new policy interventions aimed at improving livelihoods and opportunity in all parts of the UK
  • the relaunched inquiry into the progress on devolution in England from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Rt Hon Lord Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 2010-15; Baroness Blake of Leeds, former leader, Leeds City Council; and Board Member, The Northern Powerhouse Partnership; and Nigel Wilcock, Executive Director, Institute of Economic Development (IED).


Sessions in the agenda look at:


  • the future of regional devolution in England
  • learning from the experience of devolution to date, and how local decision-making has evolved as a response to the pandemic
  • next steps for delivering economic growth and regeneration across England, and priorities for the planned Levelling up White Paper
  • developing the infrastructure needed to support growth:
    • building on existing knowledge and partnership frameworks
    • linking with existing local services and building on the strengths of each area 
  • policy priorities for driving economic growth across the UK and the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda

Who attended…


Officials from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; Defra; the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; the Department for Education; the Department for International Trade; the Department for Transport; the Department of Health and Social Care; the DWP; the Home Office; the Intellectual Property Office; the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government; the National Audit Office; the National Infrastructure Commission; the Office for National Statistics; the Office for Product Safety and Standards; the Office of Rail and Road; The Planning Inspectorate; and the Welsh Government.


Representatives from ARTSM; Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council; Breckland Council; British Geological Survey; Cambridgeshire County Council; Canal & River Trust; Harrogate Borough Council; Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership; Highways England; Liverpool City Region Combined Authority; Northern Council for Further Education; Peel L&P; The Campaign to Protect Rural England Wiltshire; University of Bath; Warrington Borough Council; and West Midlands Combined Authority.



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles