Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-xtgtn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-18T16:58:31.846Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

City deals, decentralisation and the governance of local infrastructure funding and financing in the UK

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2020

Andy Pike*
Affiliation:
Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS), Newcastle University

Abstract

This article reflects upon a comparative analysis of the 28 ‘City Deals’ agreed between UK government, Scottish government and city-regional groupings in England and Scotland since 2011. The City Deals have sought to incentivise local actors to identify and prioritise ‘asks’ of UK and devolved governments, fund, finance and deliver infrastructure and other economic development interventions, and to reform city/city-region governance structures to ‘unlock’ urban growth. Our analysis is based upon 32 in-depth interviews with lead actors in the City Deals, including elected officials from local government, central government officials and policy specialists from think tanks, as well as a secondary literature review. We find that City Deals are reworking the role of the UK state internally and through changed central-local and intra-local (city-regional) relations. Regional and urban public policy is being recast as a process of deal-making founded upon territorial competition and negotiation between central national and local actors unequally endowed with information and resources, leading to highly imbalanced and inequitable outcomes across the UK. As a template for public policymaking in an emergent and decentralising context, deal-making raises substantive and unresolved issues for governance in the UK that are especially pertinent as the new Conservative government at Westminster pledges to widen and broaden this approach as a central component of its future devolution strategy and policy.

Type
Research Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 National Institute of Economic and Social Research

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Footnotes

Thanks to the editors of the special issue and the reviewers for their comments, and the participants in the studies that informed this research. This article is based on research undertaken as part of the Infrastructure BUsiness models, valuation and Innovation for Local Delivery (iBUILD) research centre funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (Grant reference: EP/K012398/1) (https://research.ncl.ac.uk/ibuild/).

References

Aghion, P., Besley, T., Browne, J., Caselli, F., Lambert, R., Lomax, R., Pissarides, C. and Van Reenan, J. (2013), Investing for Prosperity: Skills Infrastructure and Innovation, a report of the LSE Growth Commission, Institute for Government/Centre for Economic Performance, London.Google Scholar
Ashton, P., Doussard, M. and Weber, R. (2014), ‘Reconstituting the state: city powers and exposures in Chicago's infrastructure leases’, Special Issue of Urban Studies on Financialization and the Production of Urban Space, pp. 117.Google Scholar
Blond, P. (2010), Red Tory: How Left and Right have Broken Britain and How We Can Fix It?, London, Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
Cabinet Office (2010), The Coalition: Our Programme for Government, London, The Cabinet Office.Google Scholar
Cabinet Office (2011) Unlocking Growth in Cities, London, The Cabinet Office.Google Scholar
Cabinet Office (2011a) Open Public Services White Paper, London, The Cabinet Office.Google Scholar
Cabinet Office (2012) City Deals Prospectus for Wave 2 Cities, London, The Cabinet Office.Google Scholar
Centre for Cities (2012), City Deals and Making Devolution Happen, London, Centre for Cities.Google Scholar
Centre for Cities (2013) City Deals: Insights from the Core Cities, London, Centre for Cities.Google Scholar
Clarke, N. and Cochrane, A. (2013), ‘Geographies and politics of localism: the localism of the United Kingdom's coalition government’, Political Geography, 34, pp. 1023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DCLG (2012) A Plain English Guide to Business Rates Retention: Local Government Finance Bill, London, Department for Communities and Local Government.Google Scholar
Graham, S. and Marvin, S. (2001), Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities and the Urban Condition, London, Routledge.Google Scholar
Hanratty, N. (2015), City Deal Implications and Next Steps: Report of Director of Economic Development to Cabinet, 2 April, Cardiff, City of Cardiff Council.Google Scholar
HM Government/Sheffield City Region (2015), Sheffield City Region Agreement on Devolution, London, HM Government/Sheffield City Region.Google Scholar
HM Treasury (2013), Autumn Statement 2013, London, HM Treasury.Google Scholar
HM Treasury (2014), National Infrastructure Plan 2014, London, HM Treasury.Google Scholar
HM Treasury (2015), ‘Chancellor on building a Northern Powerhouse’, copy of speech delivered on 14 May at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/chancellor-on-building-a-northern-powerhouseGoogle Scholar
HM Treasury(2015a), Budget 2015, London, HM Treasury.Google Scholar
Hodge, G.A., Greve, C. and Boardman, A.E. (eds) (2010), International Handbook on Public-Private Partnerships, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
House of Commons (2013), ‘The Local Government Finance Settlement 2013–14 and 2014–15’, Library Research Paper, London, House of Commons.Google Scholar
Hulbert, C. and Vammalle, C. (2014), ‘A sub-national perspective on financing investment for growth I – measuring fiscal space for public investment: influences, evolution and perspectives’, OECD Regional Development Working Papers, 2014/02, Paris, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.Google Scholar
IFS (2014), Response to the 2014 Budget, London, Institute for Fiscal Studies.Google Scholar
Inderst, G. (2010), ‘Infrastructure as an asset class’, EIB Papers, 15, 1, pp. 70104.Google Scholar
KPMG (2014), Introducing UK City Deals: A Smart Approach to Supercharging Economic Growth and Productivity, New South Wales, KPMG.Google Scholar
Krippner, G.R. (2005), ‘The financialization of the American economy’, Socio-Economic Review, 3, 2, pp. 173208.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Leeds City Region (2012), Unlocking our Economic Potential: A Leeds City Region City Deal, Lees, Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership.Google Scholar
Maclennan, D. (2012), ‘Cities and policy change in the UK: recent developments’, Scottish Cities Knowledge Centre Briefing Note (0212), Glasgow, University of Glasgow.Google Scholar
Marlow, D. (2012), ‘City Deals – Implications for enhanced devolution and local economic growth’, London, LGIU Policy Briefing.Google Scholar
Martin, R., Pike, A., Tyler, P. and Gardiner, B. (2015), Spatially Rebalancing the UK Economy: The Need for a New Policy Model, Seaford, Regional Studies Association.Google Scholar
Maxwell-Jackson, Q. (2013), Build the Infrastructure: Bin the Wish List, London, Centre Forum.Google Scholar
McFarlane, A.G. (2007), ‘Putting the ‘public’ back into public private partnerships for economic development’, Western New England Law Review, 30, 1, pp. 3960.Google Scholar
Moran, M. and Williams, K. (2015), “Devo-Manc’: ‘Northern Powerhouse’ or ‘Northern Poorhouse?SPERI Comment, 7 April, Sheffield, University of Sheffield.Google Scholar
National Audit Office (2001), Modern Policy-Making: Ensuring Policies Deliver Value for Money: Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, London, The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
National Audit Office (2013), Funding and Structures for Local Growth: Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, London, The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
National Audit Office (2014), Financial Sustainability of Local Authorities: Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, London, The Stationery Office.Google Scholar
OECD (2014), Private Financing and Governmental Support to Promote Long-Term Investments in Infrastructure, Paris, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.Google Scholar
O'Neill, P. (2013), ‘The financialisation of infrastructure: the role of categorisation and property relations’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 6, 3, pp. 441–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pike, A., MacKinnon, D., Coombes, M., Champion, T., Bradley, D., Cumbers, A., Robson, L. and Wymer, C. (2015a), Tackling Declining Cities: UK City Trends and International Policy Review, York, Joseph Rowntree Foundation.Google Scholar
Pike, A., Marlow, D., McCarthy, A., O'Brien, P. and Tomaney, J. (2015b), ‘Local institutions and local economic development: the Local Enterprise Partnerships in England, 2010-’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 8 (2), pp. 185204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pike, A., Rodriguez-Pose, A., Tomaney, J., Torrisi, G. and Tselios, V. (2012), ‘In search of the ‘economic dividend’ of devolution: spatial disparities, spatial economic policy and decentralisation in the UK’, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 30, 1, pp. 1028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pike, A. and Tomaney, J. (2009), ‘The state and uneven development: the governance of economic development in England in the post-devolution UK’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 2, 1, pp. 1334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scottish Government (2015), Inverness City Deal – Opportunity for Everyone to Engage, Edinburgh, Scottish Government Communications.Google Scholar
Storper, M. (2014), ‘Governing the large metropolis’, Territory, Politics, Governance, 2 (2), pp. 115–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Strickland, T. (2015), Unpublished PhD thesis, Newcastle University.Google Scholar
Tomaney, J. and McCarthy, A. (2015), ‘The Manchester Model’, Town and Country Planning, May, London, Town and Country Planning Association.Google Scholar
Tomaney, J., Pike, A., Torrisi, G., Tselios, V. and Rodriguez-Pose, A. (2011), ‘Decentralisation outcomes: a review of evidence and analysis of international data: a report for the Department for Communities and Local Government’, CURDS, Newcastle University and the Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics.Google Scholar
Travers, T. (2012), Local Government's Role in Promoting Economic Growth: Removing Unnecessary Barriers to Success, London, Local Government Association.Google Scholar
Travers, T. (2015), ‘A near federal UK requires a constitutional settlement’, 20 May, London, Local Government Chronicle.Google Scholar
Ward, G. (2015), Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region City Deal: Report to City of Edinburgh Council Executive, 28 May, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh Council.Google Scholar