Enabling Economic Leadership for Cities - Lords Library Note

Published 08 December 2014 | Library notes LLN 2014/044

Authors: Russell Taylor

Topic: Economic policy, Local government, Regional planning and development

On 11 December 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion:

“that this House takes note of the case for enabling economic leadership for cities”

Centre for Cities has stated that the performance of cities is crucial to the growth of the UK economy, but that many cities in the UK would perform better following further devolution of appropriate powers from central government. It has been estimated that, by 2030, urban areas could house 60 percent of the world’s population and harbour 80 percent of global economic growth. Currently, UK cities account for around 59 percent of the nation’s jobs and 61 percent of output.

The importance of cities was recognised by the Government in its 2011 report, Unlocking Growth in Cities. The report summarised a number of ways in which the Government was already helping cities realise their potential, and introduced the concept of City Deals. These are tailored deals negotiated between cities (and the relevant local authorities) and Government. They can include a range of devolved powers and responsibilities. The first wave of these deals was agreed in 2012 with the eight largest cities in England outside of London. Further deals were announced over the next couple of years with a number of other cities and large towns.

This Note considers these subjects in turn, along with further proposals for devolution put forward by the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee, Centre for Cities and the City Growth Commission. Statistics relating to cities can be found in section two of the Note, and further reading is contained in section five.

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