Cutting Red Tape – lengthways?

8 Mar

hi=-tech buildingOur editorial – ‘Unbalanced Economies‘ – considers the dilemma of would be devolutionists as they grope for government policies that might ease the woeful inequalities of local economies across the UK.

There’s no lack of awareness of the growing gap between the growth of London and the UK’s other major cities.  It’s not just about jobs.  The impacts are evident in health, education, culture, innovation, and umpteen aspects of society –  and there’s no denying the dependence of local economies on centralised purse strings with stringent controls on spending anywhere that seems electorally risky.  Nor would the Whitehall wizards deny the export potential for technologies that claim to make cities smarter – though they shrink away from encouraging innovative aspirations in the underlying digital infrastructure investment.

But solutions are not to be found in more top-down initiatives.  If pushed the Whitehall policy police might perhaps concede that fostering maybe two provincial city hubs might be sustainable but such half-hearted measures fall way short of the natural aspirations bubbling up in places large and small across the country.

Enter the RSA’s City Growth Commission.   No debate better captures the red tape that ties central policy development in knots and exposes how the digital economy is delightfully disruptive.  Cutting the red tape lengthways is simply not good enough.

Full story here

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