Designing English Devolution

The way we are governed in the United Kingdom is changing.

In a democracy, we should be involved in deciding how we are governed.

In Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and some parts of England, more powers are being shifted away from Westminster towards devolved assemblies, parliaments and representatives at the local level, but local people don’t get a say in where it goes.

Who should decide how we are governed?

From local government reorganisations to Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners, there is no shortage of ideas for reform. Yet the one thing that ties these developments together is that the ideas came from Westminster, not local people. When people don’t see the point in a position they don’t turn out to vote.

Rather than being presented with a fait accompli, we should all be able to play a role in designing the institutions that govern us.

Watch more videos from the Democracy Matters project on YouTube.

The Award-Winning Democracy Matters Project

With the support of the Economic and Social Research Council, academics and civil society organisations we brought together politicians, regional leaders and the public to debate a range of options for Britain’s constitutional future.

Between October and November 2015, two pilot assemblies of local residents, assembled like a jury, were run in Sheffield (Assembly North) and Southampton (Assembly South) to ask how new regional powers can be established in a form that is supported by the people who live locally.

These assemblies were demographically representative of their local areas. They learned about different options, then heard from campaigners and engaged in long and careful consideration of the options.

Find out more about this project

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Date published
Submission for

Response to the House of Lords Constitution Committee inquiry...

Constitutional Convention
Date published
Submission for

Response to the Devolution APPG inquiry on the role...

English Devolution