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The Institution of Civil Engineers Institute / association Website
Last edited 17 Oct 2016

State of the nation: Devolution

On 30 June 2016, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) published their flagship policy report State of the Nation 2016: Devolution. The report assesses the performance of the UK's energy, transport, flooding, water and waste networks, and recommends actions needed to deliver improvements.

It suggests that the Government's devolution agenda is positive and has potential, but that a few key policy changes will ensure it works better for people, the economy, and the environment.

In terms of infrastructure, the report suggests that devolution can lead to:

  • An improved understanding of local needs.
  • A better scale to deliver services integration.
  • Sustainability of environment and quality of life.

The report sets out a number of steps ICE believe are necessary to ensure devolution has a positive impact on local, regional and national infrastructure networks, focusing on the themes of enabling devolution, infrastructure delivery and effective outcomes.

The key findings of the report are:

  • Central government should provide advice on the devolution submission process in England to ensure effective outcomes.
  • Authorities seeking a devolution deal should demonstrate a clear model for leadership and accountability.
  • Regional strategies should be developed to identify infrastructure need, ensuring the devolution of infrastructure policy in England is most effective.
  • Appropriate approaches to identify infrastructure need should be developed in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and London.
  • Regional infrastructure pipelines should be developed to identify upcoming projects and provide foresight on skills requirements.
  • Devolution settlements should ensure combined authorities provide a joined-up approach to skills needed to deliver future infrastructure.
  • Devolution settlements should include access to flexible but prudential approaches to attracting investment for infrastructure.
  • Future devolution agreements should include funding provision for digital infrastructure to enable a collaborative approach to systems management that benefits service users.
  • Systems approaches should be central to regional infrastructure strategies to ensure infrastructure networks are integrated and resilient.
  • Devolution agreements should prioritise improving quality of life and the environment alongside driving economic growth .

For more information, and to download the full report, see ICE State of the nation 2016:Devolution.

--The Institution of Civil Engineers

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