The Constitution Unit


Devolution and the English Regions

The Constitution Unit has carried out a range of research projects on issues around the regional governance of England. The Unit produced a report in 1996 exploring the issues around the establishment of elected regional assemblies and voluntary Regional Chambers/Assemblies. This was followed up by a similar study in 2001 entitled Unexplored Territory.

As the Government's policy on elected assemblies developed through from 2001 to 2004, a number of briefings were produced, including a Commentary on the White Paper on Regional Government in 2002 and a Commentary on the draft Regional Assemblies Bill in 2004. Both of these documents were relatively critical of Government policy on elected assemblies.

The Unit has also participated in research on the functioning of Regional Chambers. Research reports include Next Steps for Regional Chambers (2001), Inclusiveness of Regional Chambers (2002) and a role in the ODPM-commissioned Evaluation of the Role and Impact of Regional Chambers. Joint work also took place as part of the Unit's Devolution and Health research in 2002.

The Unit has also carried out research on the regional government in London, the Greater London Authority. Reports produced include Fixing London (2003), Regional Leadership in Public Health (2005) and From Strategy to Delivery: the future development of the GLA (2005). Existing expertise on regional governance issues elsewhere in England has provided a useful perspective on emerging developments in London. Details of all Constitution Unit publications on the English regions can be found in the publications section of this website.

The Constitution Unit's main researcher into regional governance in England was Mark Sandford, who has now left but remains a honorary senior research fellow. The Constitution Unit also publishes the English Regions Devolution Monitoring Reports, which are authored by a team based at the University of Manchester.