He called for a renaissance of local government and said: 'In the second term, to achieve our goals, we need to devolve power from the centre to regions and local communities.
'Just as for the regional development agencies we have granted more flexibility with more finance, so too with local government we will match that with further steps towards greater flexibility . . . in return for reform and resources.
'I want people to see what we do together as a Labour commitment to the renaissance of local government in our country.'