Here is what Transport Secretary Philip Hammond told the Conservative Conference:
Well, what I have inherited at the Department for Transport is a system which is truly a monument to Gordon Brown's tenure at the Treasury. Something the Soviets would have been proud of.
A top-down system with "The man in Whitehall" deciding what's right for Bradford, for Bristol or for Birmingham.
The form-filling, the box-ticking, and the monitoring.
The "we know best" approach that underlies it all.
And I can tell you this today: we will sweep it all away.
We will scrap the multiple streams of transport resource funding for local government and replace them with just two – a formula grant which will go to all authorities to allow them to set their own
priorities…..….. and a Local Sustainable Transport Fund which will consolidate the remaining money in a single pot for which local authorities can bid to support their plans for their areas.
And I do mean their plans for their areas.
And I want to go further still. Once the Local Enterprise Partnerships are formed, I want to see how far my Department's local capital funding can be devolved.
Improving local accountability.
This is a truly localist agenda. And, yes, sometimes it will mean local authorities making decisions that Whitehall may not agree with.
But what is the point of localism if not to give local people the right to decide what's right for them?