Business must be engaged in devolution plans 

Over two-thirds (70%) of small businesses support devolution but want more transparency to ensure deals are beneficial for local economies, research has found.

Findings from a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) of its members found that devolution deals were good for individual businesses but many raised concerns about their ability to have a say on local devolution plans. 

Only 17% felt they had been sufficiently consulted on devolution in their area.

Just as worrying, 57% said they felt they could not contribute to ongoing decision-making in local authorities.

Stephen Morgan, Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, has supported proposals for a ‘Solent Deal’ for devolution to Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. 

He said:

“I want to see local devolution across our nation as it’s key to encouraging economic growth and prosperity. 

More must be done to ensure effective collaboration across sectors to make this happen”.

Mike Cherry, FSB’s national chairman has argued that transparency in devolution deals is key. 

He said:

“Combined authorities must clearly demonstrate how they are promoting growth and establish channels through which they can be held accountable”.