05Overall policy priorities

Leaders were asked for three short, free-text responses to the question: ‘On which three policy priorities are you currently most focused?’

Unprompted, leaders were overwhelmingly focused on a similar set of issues – housing, regeneration, transport, infrastructure and skills.

Figure 2: Overall policy priorities: On which three policy priorities are you currently most focused?

Comparing the responses with the economic data of each city showed:

Housing is a priority regardless of housing affordability. Leaders of cities with both expensive and relatively less expensive homes identified housing as one of their three priorities.4

Where economic growth was mentioned, the respondent was more likely to represent a city with a lower than the median GVA per worker.5

Places that identified inclusive growth as a priority also tended to have a higher than average proportion of low-skilled workers.

While a number of leaders identified skills as one of their policy priorities, this did not necessarily match the proportions of low-skilled people in their area.6


  • 4 Source: Land Registry 2017, Market Trend Data, Price Paid, 2017 data. Simple average used. Scottish neighbourhood statistics 2016, Mean House prices, 2016 and 2017 data. ONS 2017, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), average gross weekly resident earnings, 2017 data.
  • 5 GVA: ONS 2017, Regional Value Added (Balanced Approach)
  • 6 ONS 2018, Annual Population Survey, residents analysis, 2017 data; DETINI 2018, District Council Area Statistics for Belfast, 2017 data.