Cameron to back Leeds devolution

Prime Minister David Cameron.

Prime Minister David Cameron.

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A MAJOR scaling back of the state will be proposed by Prime Minister David Cameron today as he paves the way for a culture of increased privatisation.

Speaking in Leeds this morning, Mr Cameron will announce how he intends on opening the door to smaller businesses to take on the running of Government services.

Reforms to social services and devolved responsibility for early intervention will also be rolled out, with failing departments taken over by non-profit trusts.

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His vision for a so-called ‘smarter state’ comes ahead of the Autumn spending review, and sets out a radical plan to reform public services in an attempt to tackle the deficit. The Prime Minister is also expected to publicly acknowledge the Leeds City Region’s devolution plans which were submitted to the Treasury by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority earlier this month. His discussion of the deal will solidify the region’s place at the forefront of the national switch to devolved control from Whitehall that Mr Cameron is adamant will ‘deliver more for less’ ahead of the Autumn Spending Review.

The review, scheduled for the end of November, will see Chancellor George Osborne outline how he intends on making £20bn further savings to tackle Britain’s deficit by 2019/2020.

In light of the financial climate Mr Cameron said it was ‘simply unforgivable to waste taxpayers’ money’, and that ‘a deficit reduction’ and an ‘opportunity society’ can exist together if the country adopts a business focused way of operating.

He said: “They can complement each other. Because with a smarter state, we can spend less and deliver more. It’s not unlike business. Businesses are constantly adapting and changing, using new technology or new methods of delivery, to improve both their products and reduce their costs. I’m not suggesting we should run Government exactly like a business. I just mean that if we use their insights, we can help develop a smarter state.”

The Government promised money earmarked for the doomed trolleybus scheme could be used on other measures.

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