Led by Stephanie Hyde, PwC Executive Board Head of Regions, the Devo Delivery Network has more than 350 local and central government experts and specialist advisors spread across PwC’s 31 UK regional offices, including Jonathan House, former CEO of Cardiff Council and now PwC's local government leader in the North.
The Devo DeliveryNetwork draws on PwC’s international and national experience in advising public and private sector organisations on regional economic strategy, tax, finance-raising and public sector modernisation and reform.
Announcing the initiative, Bill MacLeod, PwC's North East senior partner, said that the acceleration of devolution has fuelled demand for a single source for specialist advice and guidance.
“Over the past five years, we’ve seen devolution from central government to local regions rise up the political agenda, with the North leading the way. Over the next five, devolution will begin to drive the UK growth agenda.
“But the very nature of devolution is that there is no one-size-fits-all blueprint. Regional settlements are determined by a combination of local need, the strength of the case and Westminster’s confidence in the ability of local politicians, citizens and business to deliver.”
Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) indicate that London is demonstrating the fastest recovery. Regional cities including Newcastle, Greater Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham have also seen improved GVA growth, but the prosperity gap between London and the regions remains.
Jonathan House, PwC's local government leader in the North, added that decentralisation is now moving rapidly from deals to delivery:
“Negotiating a devolution settlement is just the beginning. Delivering successful devolution is a very different challenge that demands very different skills.”