Core Cities call for city devolution focus

By on 08/05/2014 in Leader, News

Later today, the Core Cities (including Birmingham) and Glasgow will call for the Government to focus on devolution to cities, rather than just regions, to drive UK growth and boost jobs.

Meeting in Glasgow for the first time, the Core Cities Cabinet which comprises the leaders of the eight largest cities outside of London, will issue a joint declaration with Glasgow adding their voices to those who believe that devolving more power to cities is a more radical constitutional agenda than establishing a border at Carlisle.

Greater freedoms will give the UK's cities the power to create more jobs and grow their economies and the Core Cities and Glasgow and united in challenging the centralising tendencies of all governments, whether in Westminster or Holyrood.

Both sides of the border, the UK's cities need better connectivity rather than greater separation and the Core Cities and Glasgow will continue to work together in the belief that a new age of cities offers a truly radical and exciting vision for a wealthier, fairer and more balanced Britain.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader, Manchester City Council and Chair, Core Cities Cabinet said: “The Core Cities and Glasgow have a great deal in common and we share a proud history of industrial ingenuity. We are here in Glasgow today to talk about our shared future as drivers of the UK economy.

“Both the Core Cities and Glasgow are in favour of radical constitutional change but do not believe this should be left to be a tussle between parliaments. Instead greater freedoms to our nation's cities should be granted, starting with the devolution of property taxes.

“There is also a desperate need to build better connectivity and by working together, for example to deliver HS2, we will make life better for people and businesses in every UK city. This should be our shared vision.”

Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council and transport spokesman for the Core Cities Cabinet, said: “The Core Cities are meeting today in Glasgow to make a very clear statement about our commitment to our sister cities in Scotland.

“Our desire to work together across the UK has been warmly welcomed by the leaders of the major Scottish cities.

“The truly radical agenda for change in the UK is to return powers and freedoms to our great cities. The 21st Century will be the century of cities rather than nations. We are determined to work together to take that agenda forward in the years ahead.”

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader, Glasgow City Council said: “The fact of the matter is that Glasgow has more in common with cities such as Liverpool and Manchester than we do with much of the rest of Scotland.

“I welcome this powerful intervention against separatism from my fellow city leaders. The issues they face from an over-dominant London economy and government centralism are the same that Glasgow faces.

“The answer is to radically devolve power and resources to city regions across Britain so we can grow our economies and make a bigger contribution to GDP; not to erect a border at Carlisle, create huge uncertainty over currency and regulatory frameworks, and turn people from Newcastle into foreigners.”

ENDS

Media contact: Alex Linden, Westbourne Communications - alex.linden@westbournecoms.com or 020 3397 1874

Notes to editors

The Core Cities consist of: Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

A copy of the declaration can be found here

The Core Cities recently released a Growth Prospectus which can be read online here

The Core Cities are a unique and united local authority voice to promote the role of their cities in driving economic growth. They represent the councils of England's eight largest city economies outside London. The Core Cities Group has a track record of 15 years as a cross party group, led by the City Leaders. It is a self-selected and self-funded group. For more information please visit www.corecities.com

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