Communities secretary Sajid Javid said Britain’s decision to leave the European Union means there is “no point” in hoarding powers in Westminster once powers are repatriated.
The comments were contained in the first annual report on devolution, published this afternoon. The annual update was a requirement added in to the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 as it went through parliament.
The report contains a chronology of events and previously published details about deals.
In Mr Javid’s opening remarks he said devolution was a “crucial part” of creating a country that worked for everyone.
Mr Javid said the next year would bring “even more milestones” and referenced the mayoral elections in May, the next round of local growth deals, and business rates reforms. He did not predict whether there would be any further devolution deals negotiated.
He said: “In the EU referendum, the British people sent a clear message that they wanted more control over their lives, that they felt disconnected from democracy when governed by a distant elite. That means there’s no point in us taking power back from Brussels only to hoard it in Westminster.
“If we’re serious about re-enfranchising Britain and delivering sustained economic growth in communities right across the country, we have to give real power to the people affected most by decisions on everything from housing to healthcare.”
Melanie Dawes, the permanent secretary of the Department for Communities & Local Government, said in July that the government had “embraced” the idea of transferring powers and controls from Brussels to local government when Britain leaves the European Union.
That came after the Local Government Association’s chair Lord Porter (Con) had previously demanded councils should benefit from repatriated powers and should play a key role in in designing new laws such as those covering recycling, food hygiene, and air quality.