Communities Secretary Greg Clark today (2 July 2015) told councils they are on the brink of a once in lifetime opportunity to be masters of their own destiny.
Speaking at the Local Government Association annual conference in Harrogate, Mr Clark called on all cities, towns and counties to be ambitious in their proposals to take power and resources away from Whitehall.
He paid tribute to the recent efforts by councils to create growth and deliver better services that local people want and declared the days when Whitehall dictates what is best as over.
The Secretary of State said:
I want every place in the country to consider how they can assert their strengths and make their mark.
We must be a nation of muscular communities – north and south, town and country.
The government’s Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill is paving the way to sweep a myriad of powers from ministers to town halls.
Mr Clark said
This is the chance of a lifetime to direct the future economic prosperity and social flourishing of your area. To make life better for even more people than you can now.
Those who are prepared to organise to be more effective and more efficient should be able to reap substantially the rewards of that boldness, whether in costs saved, additional revenues generated, or powers that can be vested.
I have no doubt about the ability of the people in this hall. Take power now. Don’t let yourself, any longer, be ruled by someone else.