William Eichler 10 February 2020

Urban councils call for fiscal devolution to end ‘Whitehall hand-outs’

Urban councils call for fiscal devolution to end ‘Whitehall hand-outs’  image

The UK’s urban authorities have joined forces to call on the Government to devolve power to cities and city regions in order to support them in ‘levelling up’ growth across the country.

Ahead of the upcoming Budget, Core Cities UK and London Councils have called on the Government to deliver ‘real fiscal devolution’ to enable councils to raise their own funds and be more accountable to their communities for the money they spend.

This includes reforming business rates and council tax as well as looking at options such as tourist taxes.

Core Cities UK and London Councils both warn that even if these measures were implemented, the UK will remain ‘one of the most centralised countries in the world’. This, they argue, hampers growth and productivity.

Both bodies, which together represent Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield, argue that devolution has to come with a fair funding settlement for the whole of the UK.

Local government has seen its core funding reduced by almost two thirds between 2010 and 2020. Even with the local government finance settlement, council budgets in urban areas are still 25% lower than in 2010/11.

‘Government needs to recognise that all places, whether a town or a city, are not islands and their economies rely on each other,’ said Cllr Judith Blake, chair of Core Cities UK.

‘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.’

Cllr Peter John, chair of London Councils, commented: ‘It’s time to end the culture of local leaders and mayors from all over the country being forced to go begging to Whitehall for hand-outs each year.

‘Local communities know how best to promote economic growth and meet the needs of communities in their areas and we need to have the freedoms and powers to do so now.’

For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - Children with Disabilities - West

Essex County Council
£30001.0 - £41000.0 per month
In Essex County Council we are "Serious about Social Work". Having recently won the Best Social Work Employer of the Year Award 2018 and been awarded England, Essex, Harlow
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Education Legal Services Officer

Essex County Council
Please note that there are 2 positions available, 1 permanent position and 1 fixed term position for 12 months. Essex County Council has embarked upon England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Project Support Officer

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,796 per annum
This role supports the project delivery and business operations of the Asset Strategy and Short Breaks Teams, ensuring that regular business runs... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Data Administrator

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£25,833 - £29,796 per annum
You must have excellent ICT skills to include Excel and Word, plus experience of using email. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Team Manager - Corporate Support

Epping Forest District Council
£33,500 - £36,401 (doe) plus excellent benefits
To be successful you will have previous experience in a Team Management role in service delivery with a focus on continuous improvement. Essex
Recuriter: Epping Forest District Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue