Conclusion: Network Governance and the Westminster State
The bulk of this book was completed before the General Election of 5 May 2005. Following the Labour victory with a reduced majority of 66, the current slow and somewhat stealthy trend towards a governance system for the English regional tier is likely to continue. Somewhat surprisingly, Labour stated in its 2005 manifesto that ‘we will… review the powers of the London Mayor and the Greater London Authority. And we will devolve further responsibility to existing regional bodies in relation to planning, housing, economic development and transport’ (Labour Party 2005:108). That this has become the subject of a manifesto commitment suggests a pressure within the party itself for further regional reform. This is strongly dependent, however, on the continued presence of key personalities and key threads of policy within the party’s priorities. One consequence of the ‘no’ vote in the North-East is that no party of government will allow regionalisation or regional government to become a high-profile lead policy. Further progress down the road of regionalisation, if it occurs, will come about because of the interaction between a melange of unintended consequences, as has happened so far.
KeywordsCentral Government Civic Engagement Policy Divergence Labour Party Network Governance
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