Heather Jameson 11 May 2020

Put localism at the heart of recovery, say city leaders

A centralised ‘command and control approach’ to easing lockdown will not work, city leaders have claimed.

Launching a bid to get the Government to take a less centralised approach to the coronavirus crisis, the Core Cities group has put forward proposals that would put local leadership at the heart of the recovery.

The group, which represents the UK’s biggest cities, is calling for City Recovery Deals and a Cities Recovery Fund to help to rebuild the economy post-COVID-19.

Core Cities chair, Cllr Judith Blake, said: ‘Getting it right in cities, means getting it right for the nation. A centralised, command and control approach to easing lockdown restrictions simply will not work.

‘Successfully lifting lockdown relies on maintaining people's trust and local leaders are far better placed to do that.’

‘We need a national framework, but trying to deliver this centrally across different places with different needs will waste time and money. Only a response drawn up between national and local government - properly funded and backed by data sharing - will work.’

The group claimed recovery plans must be tailored to local circumstances, city councils have the trust to deliver local leadership, cities hold the key to economic renewal across the country, and the green agenda must be part of the recovery process.

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