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The government offices for the English regions : towards regional governance?

Mawson, J. and Spencer, K. (1997) 'The government offices for the English regions : towards regional governance?', Policy and politics., 25 (1). pp. 71-84.


The Government Offices for the English regions (GORs) were established in 1994 in response to mounting pressures for improved territorial coordination in the English regions. For the first time government departments with a regional presence were brought under the management control of a single senior civil servant, the Regional Director. The article explores the underlying pressures which led to their establishment, their role and functions within the regions and their relationship with Whitehall. Against the background of the government's own stated objectives for the GORs and the expectations of others the article examines some of the problems which have emerged in the first two years of their operation. The article highlights the issue of the openness and accountability of the GORs to their regions. the extent of influence over government departments and agencies outside the immediate span of control of the GORs, and how far they have proved able to have an impact on policy making at the centre. It is concluded that from the perspective of a Conservative administration the GORs have proved successful in strengthening the presence of central government in the regions and should provide the administrative building blocks for a more devolved and democratically accountable regional tier of government in the event of a change in government.

Item Type:Article
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Record Created:29 Jun 2010 15:05
Last Modified:09 Dec 2016 11:35

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