Latest Public Sector News


Autumn Statement ‘should boost cities to allow them to compete with Europe’

Boosting the growth of cities in order to allow them to compete with their European counterparts should be a priority of the Autumn Statement, influential think tank Centre for Cities has said.

Its latest report, ‘Competing with the Continent’, says that cities play a greater role in the UK economy than in equivalent European economies. Around 60% of the UK’s output is generated in cities, higher than any other country, with 24% of its output concentrated in London alone.

The think tank argued that the government should foster a stronger economy in cities in order to prepare the UK economy for leaving the European Union. This should particularly involve high-skill industries, as manufacturing industries are more likely to relocate to Eastern Europe because of the lower costs.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “No other economy in Europe is so dependent on the performance of its cities, yet too many of the UK’s urban areas are failing to realise their potential. For the country to thrive in the years to come, it’s vital that the Government works with cities to address the skills and productivity gaps holding most places back.

“In particular, the government should ensure that any new funding commitments in the Autumn Statement focus on boosting the key drivers of growth in cities, such as skills, transport and housing.

“Over the long-term, it should also build on its devolution agenda by giving places the powers they need – and which European counterparts already enjoy – to grow their local economies.”

Centre for Cities said that planning policies should create commercial space in city centres in a way that encourages ‘knowledge spillovers’, where businesses located close to each other are able to share information.

It argued transport policy should invest in links between city centres and residential areas, allowing businesses access to a wider pool of labour and make it easier for workers.

The think tank also recommended supporting more workers to gain mid-level qualifications such as GCSEs and A-levels, so that the UK’s pool of skilled workers will be similar to Europe.

(Image c. Daniel Leal-Olivas from PA Wire and Press Association Images)

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Cities as places of opportunity

29/04/2019Cities as places of opportunity

Andrew Carter, chief executive of Centre for Cities, asks: if cities are pl... more >
Shaping healthy places with district councils

29/04/2019Shaping healthy places with district councils

District councils are achieving excellent outcomes by shifting health solut... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Empower your reader, choose print

07/05/2019Empower your reader, choose print

We are on a digital rollercoaster, swirling and twirling through a variety of different online advertising platforms – have we forgotten about traditional marketing plat... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >