The Week

The Week, 3 November 2017

This week the seven metro mayors in England called for an acceleration of devolution to drive economic growth. The Reform report ‘Vive la devolution: devolved public-services commissioning’ argues that devolution should not only be about the economy, but also reforming public services to best meet the needs of local populations.

Maisie Borrows, Researcher, Reform

Reformer of the week

Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, for calling on Police and Crime Commissioners to deliver priorities most important to their local area and aim for greater efficiencies in their forces, before asking for more funding from Government.

Reactionary of the week

The Department for Transport, after leaked parliamentary papers revealed the Department is not acting in the spirit of devolution by effectively having the power of veto over the Transport for the North strategy.

Good week for…

NHS suppliers

On Tuesday, Robert Shaw, CEO of NHS Digital, called for NHS organisations in STPs to work better together to make it easier for suppliers to sell into health and social care.

Employment growth in manufacturing

On Wednesday, it was reported that employment growth in Britain’s manufacturing sector had reached its highest level in more than three years.

Breakthrough medicines

On Friday, the Accelerated Access Pathway was announced which will aim to speed up NHS patients access to breakthrough drugs.

Bad week for…

Healthcare regulation status quo

On Tuesday, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP called regulation of healthcare professionals outdated and launched a consultation into its reform. Reform research this year argued for a deregulatory approach in healthcare based on risk, supported by improved performance management.

Honesty in the NHS

On Wednesday, analysis by the newly formed NHS Counter Fraud Agency estimated fraud cost the NHS £1.25 billion last year and included fraud committed by both patients and staff to contractors and organised criminals.

Encouraging innovation

On Thursday, Diane Abbott MP argued that instead of expanding the use of online reporting of crimes, building more traditional, local police stations should be encouraged.


“As mayors, we have far less control over key economic levers and far less say over the management of public services than our counterparts in other cities around the world. This means we are less able to shape and improve our city economies or tailor services to meet the needs of local people… A mayor and sustained programme of devolution to cities and regions is in everyone’s interest across the UK.”

Sadiq Khan (London metro mayor), Tim Bowles (West of England metro mayor), Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester metro mayor) Ben Houchen (Tees Valley metro mayor), James Palmer (Cambridgeshire and Peterborough metro mayor), Steve Rotheram (Liverpool City Region metro mayor) and Andy Street (West Midlands metro mayor), writing in the London Evening Standard on Wednesday.

“Of course, part of being a police and crime commissioner is about speaking to the government about resourcing. But it mustn’t just be about lobbying the government for money. It needs to be about cutting crime, delivering on the priorities you were elected on and being held to account by local people in your area when you don’t.”

Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Home Secretary, quoted in the Times on Thursday.

“We want to design a flexible model of professional regulation that secures public trust, fosters professionalism and improves clinical practice, while also being adaptable to future developments in healthcare.”

Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, Minister of State at the Department of Health, writing in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Reform’s Week


On Wednesday, Reform launched ‘Vive la devolution: devolved public-services commissioning’, which called for the devolution of public-service commissioning to enable policy makers and commissioners to deliver high-quality services tailored to the needs of local citizens. The paper was covered by the MJOxford Mail and Local Government Chronicle.

On Friday, Maisie Borrows, Researcher at Reform, wrote an op ed for the Yorkshire Post saying that devolution in Yorkshire could help to improve public-service outcomes.


On Thursday, Andrew Haldenby, Director at Reform, was quoted in the Economist arguing that STPs have an inconsistent vision.

Also on Thursday, Alexander Hitchcock, Senior Researcher at Reform, was featured in the Financial Times stating that more IT volunteers must be recruited to combat the pressures of cybercrime.

Reformer Blog

On Monday, Sarah Timmis, Research Assistant at Reform, argued that better data sharing will help to overcome the data trust deficit and improve public service delivery.

On Wednesday, Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, stated that transparency and accountability will ensure that devolution achieves value for money.

Also on Wednesday, Alexander Hitchcock, wrote an interactive blog on how public-service commissioning should be devolved to ensure value for money and high-quality services.


We are delighted to announce that our social mobility conference will be taking place on Thursday 14 December 2017. The keynote speech will be delivered by Rt Hon Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities.