Despite various initiatives to cut regulation in agriculture and other industries, there is steadily emerging a plethora of new government initiatives. For example we have already seen Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), and published maps show that some areas are not covered by a LEP at all while a few areas are covered by two. These will soon be joined by Local Nature Partnerships and Nature Improvement Areas if the government’s Natural Environment White Paper goes ahead with all its proposals for various policies and initiatives. Alongside these will be Assets of Community Value under the Localism Bill and Local Green Area designations, again courtesy of the White Paper with status akin to that of a Green Belt.
A central government truly committed to localism might be expected to set about dismantling itself with some urgency and alacrity, but when the growth in centrally driven initiatives is set against the stated ambition to cut ‘regulation’, there seems little evidence that this is taking place. Discuss.