This briefing looks at what each of the parties has said about cities, devolution and on policy areas that impact on cities’ ability to support economic growth. The key policies from the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour manifestos are set out, as well as those of the nationalist and smaller parties who could yet hold the balance of power in the new Parliament.
The briefing shows that the manifestos put forward different visions for how each party would transfer some policy functions and flexibilities down from Whitehall – from an incremental and deal-based approach focused on larger cities (Conservatives) to a more universal devolution of more modest powers (Labour). While there are few commitments to improve the fiscal and financial tools that cities have at their disposal to support growth, it is encouraging to see more of a focus on place-based investment and urban growth in some of the manifestos.
However, this place-based approach does not extend to the other policy areas that could have the biggest impact on boosting economic growth in UK cities, such as housing, transport and skills. In general there remains a lack of emphasis on ensuring policies can be tailored to the specific challenges different places face.
Listen to members of the Centre for Cities team discuss the manifestos on the podcast below: