Institutional change and the challenge of policy coordination in the English regions

Graham Pearce, Sarah Ayres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By contrast to major constitutional reforms elsewhere in the UK, in England's eight regions beyond London New Labour has favoured administrative decentralisation. This paper examines these institutional arrangements and assesses their capacity to develop a more integrated approach to territorial development. It confirms a growing awareness of the need to ensure greater coherence between policies to promote economic, social and environmental wellbeing. Nonetheless, a complex regional institutional architecture, inconsistent sector-based strategies, a lack of strategic leadership and blurred accountabilities hamper moves towards policy integration and the delivery of joint outcomes. Moreover, despite ongoing reforms, the absence of a clear regional agenda in a functionally designed Whitehall raises fundamental questions about the ability of sub-national bodies to work collectively to develop and implement a more coherent approach to regional policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-595
Number of pages23
JournalTown Planning Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2007


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