Commenting on Lord Heseltine’s new report on the future of devolution in England, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“Lord Heseltine is right to draw attention back to the devolution agenda, which has been stalled in Westminster for too long.
“The centralisation of power, money and decision-making in Whitehall continues to be a brake on cities, towns and counties that are keen to realise their potential. Uncertainty has been exacerbated by the government’s foot-dragging and obfuscation on what will replace EU funding in the regions after Brexit.
“Chamber business communities across England support greater devolution of power and resources away from central government, provided that it makes things simpler, faster, clearer and delivers real-world results.
“However, businesses only want to see devolution with purpose – not just devolution for its own sake. Business must participate at the very heart of big decisions on the place they call home. Real participation and accountability, not tick-box consultation, is crucial.
“Chambers of Commerce bring together businesses that believe strongly in people and place as well as profit – and will continue to provide a strong voice for local business communities in their areas as devolution continues.”