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The UK is in the midst of a 'devolution revolution' - we are witnessing the increasing decentralisation of governance as Westminster grants ever more powers to regional and local bodies. In political debate, the great promise of devolution is said to be economic growth, as exemplified by the birth of the Northern Powerhouse.
However, in the rush for growth, there is a danger of overlooking other measures of success, and thereby squandering the greater social and political opportunities offered by decentralised power.
Economic connectivity without social connectivity is hollow. How can we ensure devolved governance strengthens democracy by delivering a fairer dispersal of power and promoting greater civic engagement? And how can devolution create a localism that is truly 'people shaped', in which decision-making is determined by the character, identity, assets and needs of specific communities?
As the RSA launches its report on the opportunities and challenges of bringing citizens more fully into local service design and governance, we bring together a panel of experts to explore ambitions for locally driven change.