Call for devolution to cities in England and Scotland

Cityscape - two cathedrals

The Core Cities – including Liverpool – have joined forces with Glasgow to 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 are 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.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “There is a real need to rebalance the economy towards the UK’s biggest cities. At the moment we only retain about five percent of the tax base we raise despite the fact that collectively we deliver 27 percent of the English economy alone.

“Giving us more powers and freedom over the finances will not only benefit the cities themselves but help the national economy to grow and compete more effectively globally.

“The devolution of, for example, property tax would be an important first step in empowering the core cities by giving them more financial freedom.”

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.”