9. MY PROPOSALS
The steps that follow are the route map for the reform needed in
Whitehall and in our conurbations to truly empower our English
1. The reform of government and Whitehall itself is therefore the
crucial first step.
A new Department for the English Regions should be established
with a powerful Secretary of State, Permanent Secretary and
functioning civil service.
This department will involve a significant restructuring of Whitehall
equivalent to the creation of the Department of Trade and Industry
and the Department of the Environment in 1970. It is necessary
to bring under one ministerial control the essential features of the
devolution agenda, including planning, local government, housing,
transport, skills and the employment agenda.
2. All government policy offices outside London should be co-located
in regional offices led by an official at Director General level. Place-making
policies are now the inevitable consequence of existing
spatial transport, housing and industrial policy. It is essential that
government reorganises itself appropriately to facilitate and respond
to such change.
3. The Boundary Commission should be activated to review existing
local authority boundaries, starting with the Combined Authorities. It
should proceed to the examination of the boundaries of freestanding
cities to ensure they too can contribute to the nation’s prosperity.
4. Select committees should be established in both Houses of
Parliament to comment on, advise and review the devolution process.
5. The Prime Minister should establish a committee of Combined
Authority mayors under his or her chairmanship to meet at least