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Developing ‘place leadership’ when hierarchical accountability is omnipresent: the case of English sub-national government.

Ferry, L. and Sandford, M. (2022) 'Developing ‘place leadership’ when hierarchical accountability is omnipresent: the case of English sub-national government.', Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, 34 (4). pp. 557-565.


Purpose: The relationship between central and sub-national (local) government is contentious around distribution of power and control. There is a specific concern when a (local) place has power devolved, but centralised hierarchical accountability pervades. Design/methodology/approach: This paper addresses that concern by considering recent innovative developments around place-based accountability arrangements in England, through analysis of official reports and news media. Findings: The article illustrates aspirations towards accountability to the local electorate clash with hierarchical accountability that remains an omnipresent mechanism of central control. It is suggested, accountability forums be developed to blend hierarchy and the place leadership role of directly elected mayors. This could enable local accountability to the electorate, whilst taking account of the context of specific regional level complexities. Originality/value: This is one of the first papers to consider issues of place leadership and place based accountability within the framework of hierarchical accountability for central and local government relations.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact
Date accepted:01 September 2021
Date deposited:03 September 2021
Date of first online publication:21 September 2021
Date first made open access:29 September 2021

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