Leeds is a member of the Core Cities group.
Today they have launched a Green paper. Cities are capable, ready and willing to help the UK become a fairer and stronger place. The Green paper sets out how – and calls on government to help and support their efforts. You can read more about it here –
Launching the paper, Leeds Labour Leader, Judith Blake, said:
‘Now is a crucial time for our nation. While national politicians at Westminster are distracted by in-fighting and Brexit, it is cities that need to get on with the job, creating a fairer and stronger UK.’
The Green Paper is clarion call for a local approach to the issues which we face as a nation – a ‘place-based’ approach, and one which moves beyond the ‘false divide between economic and social policy.’
Here are just five of the ways she suggests cities see ways forward – but need support.
• “Shortages of decent, affordable housing is a problem across our cities. We need bespoke city housing deals to increase supply and quality of homes.
• Our employers often can’t find the right people to fill vacancies. We need a ‘whole system’ approach to skills, education and employment, with greater involvement from local democratic and business leadership.
• Our cities have great products and ideas that could be doing more for Britain. Core Cities should be involved in more international trade missions and government should push an urban trade and investment programme to possible investors.
• We have some great job creating projects that are ready to go, but need that last bit of key investment. We want government to provide funding for ‘shovel ready’ key infrastructure projects across regeneration, transport, office and retail.
• Students are a fantastic asset to our cities, but we think it’s unfair that cities are often left with the bill. We need an open debate between cities, universities and government on how the costs of high student populations can be met.”