Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialNews.

Devolution: 'Cameron's Actions Must Match Words'

UK's Core City leaders tell William Hague 'half measures' will not be accepted

Published on September 25th 2014.

Devolution: 'Cameron's Actions Must Match Words'

VOTERS 'will not accept delays' or 'half measures' on devolution.

People clearly want more local freedom from central constraint, wherever they live. And to get better results for the economy and public services, devolution has to be to cities.

That is the clear message that leaders from the UK's Core Cities (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield) have issued to First Secretary of State, William Hague MP.

Hague, the Leader of the House of Commons, has been charged by PM David Cameron with delivering devolution and constitutional change following the Scottish Referendum ‘No’ result.

The leaders welcomed a statement from the Prime Minister saying that the UK’s great cities must be ‘empowered’ following the close run Scottish referendum. But they said: ‘Our communities, our voters, will not accept delays based on constitutional wrangles, or half measures delivered through political compromise.’

Town HallManchester Town Hall

The Core Cities Cabinet has issued the following letter to William Hague MP:

Dear Mr Hague,

A No for independence is a Yes for devolution, not just in Scotland, but across the United Kingdom.  Devolution is now the most important constitutional political issue facing Parliament, and the 10 Welsh, Scottish and English cities of the newly expanded ‘Core Cities UK’ have met today to agree plans for how this can happen across the whole of the Union.

The 10 Core Cities deliver 28% of the English, Welsh and Scottish economies combined.  By 2030, the eight English Core Cities alone could put 1.16 million jobs and £222 billion extra into the economy.  That’s like adding the entire economy of Denmark to the UK - with Glasgow and Cardiff onside it will be even more - more houses, jobs, growth and prosperity.

To reach these targets, the English cities alone will need to achieve the following.
•    259,000 more graduates and 443,000 people with NVQ Level 1-3 than currently predicted
•    Transport infrastructure capable of supporting 250,000 more commuters and 51,000 extra business journeys a day
•    Around £104 billion capital investment.

These challenges cannot be met by our heavily centralised and over bureaucratic systems of investment and delivery. Although our cities contribute a massive share of the nation’s wealth, they largely underperform by international standards. Overwhelming evidence demonstrates this is because they have too long been subject to centralised control, and this is just as true for Glasgow and Cardiff as it is for cities in England.

People clearly want more local freedom from central constraint, wherever they live. And to get better results for the economy and public services, devolution has to be to cities. Devolution cannot just be to national parliaments, replacing a centralised Government in Westminster with one in Scotland, Wales or indeed England.  An English parliament alone is not the answer.  We therefore welcome the Prime Minister’s statement that Government must “empower our great cities”.

There is now an unquestionable case that it is far more important to have devolution at a much more local level, starting with our great cities, where devolution will result in the greatest benefits in terms of jobs, growth and improved public services.

Whilst the referendum debate took place in Scotland, we have held public debates in our Core Cities, ‘Local Voices’, which will continue in the months ahead as we push for greater  local freedom.  These events have demonstrated the passion people feel about where and how they live across the UK, and that the right levels of local autonomy matter.

Business agrees.  All the Chairs of the Core City-area Local Enterprise Partnerships in England have signed a joint statement supporting policies for devolution.  At our recent National Business Summit in London, senior figures from retail, manufacturing, investment, venture capital and the CBI also agreed with us. 

It’s cities that drive growth and jobs for their nations, not the other way around.  To do so cities need more freedom, for example to decide how more of the taxes raised locally are spent locally.

A programme of devolution for Scotland has been set out, but our national agenda for devolution is simply not radical enough. The devolution we need has to be at the level of the city and even the neighbourhood.  Any legislation must make provision for the whole of the UK, and specifically for its cities – Core Cities, but other places too.  Although the timing should not restrict the promises to Scotland being delivered, we would like to see this within the same time frame for the whole of the UK.

Our communities, our voters, will not accept delays based on constitutional wrangles, or half measures delivered through political compromise.  They want and deserve action and leadership on this agenda across all three main parties.

The devolution we seek will get solutions closer to problems allowing success to be judged by one simple standard: better outcomes. It will allow not only more effective delivery of economic, social and environmental interventions, but also far more effective integration of services at the right geographic level, giving us for more bang for each pound of public sector investment. More jobs and growth; investment for housing and transport; improved public services.  In short unlocking the massive unused potential of our cities.

The people of Scotland have decided that devolution and Union are not incompatible, and neither is local freedom and national growth.  In an increasingly competitive global economy the UK’s big cities are Britain’s best bet, and devolution to them must match our ambition, our passion and that of the people that live in them.

We ask to meet you and the Prime Minister at your earliest convenience to discuss this vital matter.


Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

12 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousSeptember 25th 2014.

Manchester, England. Watch this space.

Poster BoySeptember 25th 2014.

PR fluff.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 26th 2014.

I believe there's a cure for that.

AnonymousSeptember 26th 2014.

So Sir Richard simply wants powers to be devolved down to him and his "core city" colleagues does he? No new city regional mayor or authority - just hand down all these new powers to our "existing" council leaders eh? What incredible arrogance!

Trish KarneySeptember 26th 2014.

People in Greater Manchester didn't have the appetite to work closer as Greater Manchester so we have a better deal and a better presence nationally. It's thwarted by the likes of people from who parochially refuse to be associated with Manchester, and the curtain twitching lot in Stockport who find the whole idea vulgar.

AnonymousSeptember 28th 2014.

Well a week later and this issue is already dying on its feet. Ed Miliband wants the whole issue to be kicked into the long grass (i.e. forgotten about & ultimately ignored) - while devolution to Cameron simply means changing the voting rules at Westminster. That's it folks! No new English parliament and no new English regional mayors/authorities.

Steve RomanOctober 1st 2014.

We should capitalise on the political momentum raised by the referendum and on next year's 800th anniversary of Magna Carta to set up a constitutional convention involving both politicians and the public to provide a written constitution for the whole of the UK. The convention and constitution should address, amongst other matters, workable proportional representation and voting, devolved powers (including fiscal) to a renewed English local government, resolution of the West lothian question and an elected upper house. The public don't want regionalisation or assemblies or additional levels of bureaucracy. Local authorities need to have proper municipal power in the same way as they built our infrastructure and public services in the second half of the 19 century, and as much of the rest of Europe has.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 5th 2014.

spot on.

James SmithOctober 5th 2014.

It will happen, but it will take a lot of effort. Devolved powers to the cities is not the answer, but it is a positive start. It will need a ground swell of public opinion and some political clout to get what is needed. Hand downs from Westminster won't solve the problem, Westminster looks after Westminster, that will never change. Sorry Steve, but don't fall the the 'extra bureaucracy' card, that's the only argument left, it's utter nonsense. Regional parliaments, electable and accountable - unfortunately, Manchester CC is neither now and won't be any time soon. Giving them more power is a bit worrying. You only have to look at how they utterly ignore the views of the citizens.

DavidOctober 10th 2014.

A time to panic for the northern Labour cities establishment?,UKIP comes within 617 votes of winning Heywood and Middleton by election.Could UKIP do to Labour,what the Nationalists have done in Scotland,will any Labour seat be safe in Manchester anymore?.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 10th 2014.

What does Labour mean any more? UKIP all the way.

AnonymousOctober 10th 2014.

Boring and irrelevant. This is about devolution, not silly Westminster party politics.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants

Ashle Kumar

After putting password in our system often we forget it. But don't worry it can be recover by a…

 Read more

Postal services in goverment sector are pretty awesome. Now USPS offering excellent services in…

 Read more

Know your username(which is same as your employee number) Now click this link. And complete your…

 Read more

Link below to an MEN article on future plans for the area.…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2022

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord