‘Double Devolution’ Moves Closer To Realisation With The Lyons Review

The Lyons Inquiry into local government represents an important opportunity to realise the ideals of ‘double devolution’ and strengthen communities, according to the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).  In its response to the Lyons Inquiry, NCVO said that the voluntary and community sector can play a key role in ‘double devolution’, by helping people to engage with their local areas. NCVO called on local government to work in partnership with a broad range of voluntary and community organisations in order to reach out to ‘communities of interest’, which include faith and cultural groups, as well as targeting people based on their geographical location.

The umbrella body backed the Lyons Inquiry’s call for there to be greater emphasis on locally agreed priorities, to meet local needs.  It said that the voluntary and community sector should play a key role in identifying and setting priorities because of its key role in representing, and working with, local communities.

Ann Blackmore, Head of Policy at NCVO, said: “People send their children to school, go to the doctors and carry out the majority of their daily lives in their local communities, yet relatively few people turn out to vote in their local elections.

“The Lyons Review represents an important opportunity to show people that by participating in their local areas, they can make a difference.  Voluntary organisations form an essential part of communities, and can reach out to people and encourage them to get involved.”

Michael Lyons, who is leading this review into local government, will be speaking at NCVO’s Third Sector Foresight Conference on 6 September at NCVO’s offices in King’s Cross, London.  The final report on the Lyons review is due to be published in December 2006.