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Clark: DH supports place-based budgets

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The department of health is behind place-based budgets, decentralisation minister Greg Clark has told LGC, but the department for work and pensions has had to come from “further behind”.

Speaking exclusively to LGC after addressing the Solace conference in Cardiff, Mr Clark reiterated that his decentralisation mandate is a cross-cutting role across government. As reported in LGC, this includes reporting to the prime minister on the progress of all departments.

Asked whether his report, expected next year, will be too late to have an impact on discussions about place-based budgets, Mr Clark said the prospect of the report would help ensure the issue was at the forefront.

“David Cameron’s expectation is that I will report on how well everyone has done,” he said. “It is a review of what they have done successfully. We are not starting with the report – it is the end of a process.”

The process and the upcoming report offered a way of “concentrating minds”, Mr Clark said.

The Department of Health had demonstrated its localist credentials, he said, “not only in talking about budgets with local authorities, but also in not specifying what to do with the money.

“The DWP has come from further behind,” he said, adding: “In Iain Duncan-Smith we have someone who gets this agenda.”

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