Our Acting Chief Executive Andrew Carter gives his response to George Osborne's announcement to devolve greater policy-making and funding powers and control to Manchester
The Centre for Cities welcomes the Government’s announcement to devolve greater policy-making and funding powers and control to Manchester – a successful and dynamic city with the potential to develop and perform much further.
We have long argued that the creation of powerful city-regions, led by directly elected mayors, is the best way to build thriving and prosperous communities and a more sustainable national economy. London has benefited enormously from the strategic powers it holds over areas such as transport and housing, which for too long have been unrivalled amongst cities in the UK.
Enabling Manchester to target and deliver the jobs, housing, skills and infrastructure its local community needs is a critical first step to enabling the city to fulfil its potential. But these powers should not end with Manchester, or even just with cities in the North. The Government must work to support other cities, throughout the UK, to establish appropriate governance and administrative structures and scale, and then empower them to unleash their capacity to drive local and national economic growth.
The Centre for Cities will be co-convening a major conference in Leeds this week with the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, which will bring together the practical and visionary ideas needed to shape a bright and prosperous future for the North of England.