Primed for success
National Association of Local Councils (NALC) welcomes the strong emphasis on local councils in Cornwall County Council’s strategic governance review.
The report , which NALC contributed to, has important lessons pertinent to the rest of England’s consideration of devolution. It is important that other areas learn from the experience of one of the first devo deals.
These lessons include:
Successful collaborative working between principal councils and their local councils are vital to the success of devolution.
As principal councils move through double devolution towards a more strategic role, it is essential that town and parish councils be more adequately equipped to fulfill aspects of local service delivery.
Some local councils capacity and lack of infrastructure to take on devolved services means that there is a need for greater training, resources and recognition of the voluntary nature of their members.
Smaller local councils may have to consider clustering to achieve capacity to take on services from principal councils.
Devolution needs the right infrastructure, capacity and capability to make it succeed. Work needs to be done by the principal council to ensure that there is proper capacity; without this it will fail.
Agreement of devolution deals should be a genuine two-way process where towns and parishes should be able to request powers from the council and other public sector organisations and should be encouraged to do so.