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What Are the Benefits of Devolution Local Government?

Devolution is the process by which the central government of a country grant certain powers to sub-national parliaments or assemblies. Pro-devolution campaigners argue that better results are achieved when decisions are made at as local a level as possible.

Empowerment

Devolved power gives the inhabitants of the region that hold it a stronger sense of identity. They feel more empowered as a group and take a greater interest in economic and social policy, which leads to increasing participation in the political process.

Cultural Identity and Demographics

Decisions about policy and spending are taken at a more local level under a devolved government. Devolution enthusiasts say that this means that those making decisions will have a clearer understanding of the culture of the region and how their actions will affect the community. The issues affecting one part of a region or country might be very different from those of another, so a central policy might not work as well in one area as another.

Finance

Although establishing a devolved power is an expensive business, spending decisions taken at a local level are said to create efficiency savings, as a closer eye can be kept on how money is being spent. Policy makers have a better idea of where extra funding is needed if they're closer to the ground.

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About the Author

Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.