These devolution deals are good – but not a silver bullet. Simply putting more money into the hands of combined authorities will not result in power being shared with ordinary people.
People won’t really take back control until power is transferred all the way to communities themselves. Without this we risk moving from one begging bowl culture to another.
We’ve made the case for more radical, double devolution that puts spending power and decision-making directly into the hands of communities through participative processes such as citizens assemblies. Our research in Red Wall areas has found repeatedly that people care less about the role of combined authority and metro mayors in their area and more about having a greater say in the decisions that impact their lives.