A new Cabinet of Core Cities has today written to the Prime Minister urging Government to participate in “an ambitious programme for jobs and growth” to maximise the economic potential of the UK’s big cities, rebalance the economy and boost national growth and employment.
The letter from the new Cabinet, signed by the eight leaders of the ‘Core Cities’ – the biggest city economies outside of the South East – was written to the Prime Minister on the eve of the launch of a “Cabinet” of Core City political leaders .
The Cabinet has been launched to develop, and then deliver, new policy solutions in key areas to support the sub-national and national growth agenda. The Core Cities urban areas already deliver 27% of the national economy, more than London, and they have produced evidence that they can do even more with greater local freedoms and powers.
In the letter, the newly formed Cabinet of Core Cities:
• Reiterates its support for the Government’s City Deals
• States its intention to pursue an “ambitious programme of growth and reform”
• Stresses the need to “go further” on key policy issues
• Calls for “increased dialogue and commitment” from central Government
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Chair of the Cabinet of Core Cities, said:
“This announcement is a significant offer to Government and signals the ambition ofthe Core Cities Group to go further to create jobs and growth. The evidence is clear; Core Cities drive growth outside the South East. If we want to rebalance the economy, have more growth and jobs, this can only be delivered at scale by the Core Cities and their wider urban areas. Government has recognised this through the City Deals process, which we have all welcomed, but we now need to go the extra mile.
“Government has encouraged cities to be ambitious and step up to the economic challenge. We now urge Government to step up with us, to recognise our Cabinet and work with us in a coordinated way across its own departments to secure jobs and growth, and create a more sustainable future economy with many thriving economic centres. Together with my fellow Cabinet members,we will set out an ambitious programme of work which we will be unveiling in the coming months, to help us achieve this”.
The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:
“I would hope that the Government would take this opportunity of joining with the core cities to drive forward an ambitious programme of growth and employment. The setting up of a cabinet of the leaders of core cities will enable us to work closer together. If the Government is serious about seeing the economy thrive and creating more jobs they will work closely with us. I very much welcome the Government’s City Deal but we need to go further than that and over the coming months we will be setting out policies to unlock this country’s economic potential.”
The letter can be read in full below:
Dear Prime Minister, As the leaders of England’s biggest city economies outside London, we share the Government’s ambition to grow the economy, and believe the Core Cities are critical to addressing the current imbalance. Our wider urban areas already deliver 27% of the country’s economic output and contain 16 million people. Even small gains in productivity in our cities will reap big national rewards. With independent forecasts showing the potential for us to deliver an additional £61 billion GVA and 1.3 million jobs above current expectations over the next two decades, in these tough economic times, it is vital that we better utilise the spare capacity of our Core Cities to boost national growth.
In order to drive forward the economic growth and rebalancing agenda we are launching a Cabinet of Core Cities which will enable us to deliver new policy solutions.
To maximise the economic potential of our regions, we have agreed to work more closely together, taking on portfolio responsibilities in key policy areas – economic growth, skills and labour market issues, transport, housing, investment, low carbon, public sector reform – building on, but going further than, the City deals process that we have all welcomed. Our offer to Government is to join with us in pursuing an ambitious programme of growth and reform, coordinating work across its own departments. As you can see, the Core Cities are taking ambitious strides to step up and deliver on growth programmes for our regional economies, but our activities will need to go hand in hand with increased dialogue and commitment from central Government. To initiate this closer working relationship, we would like to invite you to come and meet with the Cabinet of Core Cities. We look forward to receiving your response and hope that together we can build a balanced UK economy that is firing on all cylinders to deliver the national growth that we need. Yours sincerely, The Core Cities Cabinet Members
The membership of the cabinet is as follows:
• Chair – Sir Richard Leese, Manchester
• Vice Chair, Growth – Cllr Jon Collins, Nottingham
• Vice Chair, Reform – Cllr Nick Forbes, Newcastle
• Transport – Sir Albert Bore, Birmingham
• Skills and Labour Market – Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leeds
• Housing and Construction – Mayor Joe Anderson, Liverpool
• Low Carbon and Energy – Mayor George Ferguson, Bristol
• Finance and Investment – Cllr Julie Dore, Sheffield