Cities' economic power unlocked in radical power shift
6 Jul 2012 12:17 PM
Government has agreed to devolve new powers to England's largest cities in a series of unique deals that will help them invest in growth, improve local workers' skills and create jobs, support local businesses, control budgets and improve critical infrastructure Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark announced yesterday.
The core cities are Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester. These eight largest and most economically important English cities outside of London were invited to set out the powers they need to drive local growth in December last year. In return the cities have agreed to put in place stronger, more accountable local leadership and to spend their resources more efficiently. The resulting groundbreaking agreements signal a dramatic shift, freeing cities from Whitehall control.
Following Greater Manchester's example, Leeds and Sheffield will each form Combined Authorities, bringing their existing local authorities together so they can make more strategic decisions about how money is spent and what it is spent on. Liverpool and Bristol have voted to have directly elected mayors supported by strong decision making structures across the wider economic area. Leeds will form a West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Sheffield will form the South Yorkshire Combined Authority.
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