Heseltine report ‘has wrong answer for growth’

Claiming that devolving power from Whitehall "to other tiers of government" is a good way to help revive local economies around the UK is a …

Claiming that devolving power from Whitehall "to other tiers of government" is a good way to help revive local economies around the UK is a mistake, the British Chambers of Commerce (BRC) has said.

Such shifting of power is a key element of proposals contained in a new report on how to generate economic growth by former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine.

BRC director-general Stephen Robertson said Lord Heseltine is "exactly right" in identifying the need for government to have a big role in economic development and the importance of regional growth, but said what the retail sector really needs is a freezing of business rates and less regulation.

People whose debt problems are made worse by unemployment may wish to seek solutions now, rather than waiting and hoping that a new approach to the economy eventually bears fruit.

In his report No Stone Unturned, Lord Heseltine argued that local enterprise partnerships should have powers devolved to them from Whitehall, arguing that centralisation of power has sapped the spirit of enterprise that built up Britain's provincial cities to begin with.

By Joe White

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