Poverty and Inequality

10.02.20

UK authorities call for devolution to ‘end Whitehall hand-outs’

Key UK councils have united to put pressure on Whitehall for ‘radical devolution’, to pave the way for the levelling up of cities and regions across the whole of the UK.

Core Cities UK and London Councils have joined forces to call on the government to deliver ‘real fiscal devolution’, putting the individual authority in charge of their own funds and the future of their communities.

With the Budget looming, the partnership is keen to highlight the connections between major cities and towns in the UK and is urging government to give control to local people and end the ‘culture of Whitehall hand-outs.’

In their submission to Treasury ahead of the Spring Budget 2020, they called for bigger, bolder devolution, investment in transport infrastructure, action of climate change and a major boost to housing supply.

The statement released by London Council’s today (Feb 10) said that local government has ‘borne the brunt of austerity’ over the past decade, and that all parties involved agree devolution has to come with a fair funding settlement for the whole of the UK.

Business rates and council tax are among the things disputed, with ‘a holistic approach’ to business rates reform suggested, as well as fiscal devolution to support economic growth and reduce regional inequalities.

Together Core Cities UK and London Councils represent Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of Core Cities UK, said:

“Government needs to recognise that all places, whether a town or a city, are not islands and their economies rely on each other. This Budget is an opportunity to exploit our economic networks, driving growth across the whole of the UK.

“For that to happen we must ensure that there is fair funding for every community in the country. Wherever people live, local services are facing an uphill struggle and we must chart a new course, from austerity to prosperity.”

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