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Budget 2016: Devolution reaction

Words: Laura Edgar

Industry professionals have responded to devolution measures announced in the Budget 2016.

Chancellor George Osborne announced that negotiations have opened with both Edinburgh and Swansea, while regions in England will get more powers in return for elected mayors.

Funding should go to improving existing stock


Sarah Speirs, director of the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors in Scotland, said the steps taken toward city deals in the country are “significant and welcome moves which will help to unlock the potential for considerable benefits across the country”.

Speirs suggested that part of this investment in Edinburgh and the surrounding area should go to protecting historic attractions in the Scottish capital as well as being “used to sustain and improve the existing and ageing stock across commercial and residential property”.

“City deals are a welcome funding mechanism to bring forward key infrastructure needs of cities and regions, and we would urge the future Scottish Government administration to welcome city and region deal bids from Stirling and Perth,” she said.

Important to improving productivity


Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “The new deal for the West of England represents a welcome commitment from the government to extending its devolution agenda, and will be particularly important to improving the UK’s poor productivity.”

However, the government also needed to hold up its end of the deal on devolution and “resist the temptation to shift the goalposts as local government prepares to take on more responsibilities” she said.

An overview of the devolution measures can be found here.

Budget 2016 can be found here.