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Glasgow Joins MCR and Liverpool In Core Cities

We have more in common with English cities admits Council Leader

Published on August 14th 2014.

Glasgow Joins MCR and Liverpool In Core Cities

CORE CITIES, the group of large British cities outside London, has expanded its membership beyond England.

Glasgow has more in common with cities like Liverpool and Manchester than we do with many parts of Scotland.

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and Chair of Core Cities Cabinet, said:

“On behalf of the other Core Cities I am delighted to welcome Glasgow, a great Scottish and British city into our network.  This is an historic moment for our group, expanding for the first time in more than a decade and for the first time ever outside England, a move which was agreed by all eight Core Cities’ political leaders.  

“The question of independence is one for the people of Scotland.  But the question of devolution to drive urban economies and jobs is one for cities, whether they are located in England or Scotland.  Together we will be more able to challenge the centralising tendencies of all our governments.  This does mean radical constitutional change, but it cannot just mean a contest between parliaments.  
“Our cities' economies will benefit from greater connectivity rather than separation. For example by working together to deliver HS2 as a first step toward a full national High Speed Rail network we will make life better for people and businesses in every UK city. And by collaborating to create better economic and employment policies we will deliver more jobs and growth for the nation.  Together we will create an exciting vision for a wealthier, fairer and more balanced Britain.”



The Core Cities led the first wave of City Deals, bespoke packages of power and resources devolved to cities initially in England. Glasgow is the first non-English city to announce a City Deal with the UK Government, for a programme of infrastructure investment valued at £1.13 billion. Glasgow and seven other neighbouring local authorities will benefit from the City Deal. 

Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council said:

"This is a highly significant moment as Glasgow takes her rightful place alongside our sister cities in England at the forefront of efforts to expand and re-balance the British economy. Glasgow has more in common with cities like Liverpool and Manchester than we do with many parts of Scotland.

“Arguing over which powers should be held by Holyrood or Westminster is a sterile distraction. Power and resources should be transferred from both parliaments to city-regions if we're serious about creating jobs. Both nation-building centralisers and austerity-obsessives undermine economic growth. 

“The future is urban, and metropolitan cities the world-over are the powerhouses of the economy. For the first time in human history the majority of the world's population live in cities, a figure set to rise to 75% by 2050."



Glasgow shares the attributes and criteria associated with other Core Cities: a critical economic hub at the centre of a bigger city region; diverse sectoral growth and skills within its labour market; containing a set of assets, infrastructure and institutions that underpin growth; a large population; and at the heart of a city region which has a coherent governance structure and is a prime driver of growth and employment at scale across a much larger geography. 

Glasgow’s urban area delivers 33.1% of the Scottish economy and is home to 1,790,500 people, which when combined with the 27% of the English economy delivered by Core Cities urban areas and their residents, equates to 24.6% of the UK economy (27.0% of the English and Scottish economy combined) and 27.5 % of the UK population (29.7% of the combined English and Scottish population).

Confidential comment

Interesting move this one thinks Confidential. Matheson is right to say Glasgow has far more in common with Manchester and Liverpool than with other parts of Scotland. In its history and its present make-up, in the challenges it faces, we match each other almost step by step.

Not that the Scottish Nationalists will appreciate Glasgow's initiative. They will see a political motive behind a city Labour administration - part of the 'Better Together' campaign - timing this admission just a few weeks before the Scottish referendum.

The Nationalists will no doubt publicly blub about it. After all such clear evidence of the entwined intricacies of British life being underlined by the most important urban area in their country will not suit their campaign. But so what? For the cities involved this move makes absolute sense as does avoiding the Scottish Nationalists Balkanisation of the UK. 

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

DavidAugust 14th 2014.

Your such a pro Labour fanboy SCHOFIELD.Even The whole Scottish independence issue is skewered by your huge love of that party.It make more sense for Manchester to join with the rest of Scotland in rejecting any more of the self serving Labour Party.Manchester should be against the union and against London domination.

AnonymousAugust 15th 2014.

Just think if Scotland does vote for independence though. Cameron will have to resign, the Queen abdicate, the power & influence of London will be irretrievably broken both at home & abroad (hurrah), our patronising state news agency (Auntie BBC) will be in a right pickle and no more Labour governments in England - ever! Etc etc etc. Sheer bliss.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SquirrelitoAugust 15th 2014.

er, yeah, of course....

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

Some political hacks are now suggesting that both Cameron & Milliband will have to resign if Scotland votes yes. Heard of those two Squirrelhead?

LauraAugust 27th 2014.

The Core Cities are so important to ensure that commercial businesses are focused on outside of London... there's actually a great bit of research about it on GVA www.gva.co.uk/…/…

DavidSeptember 7th 2014.

Please what are Leese and the Core Cities group going to do about Glasgow?,In the light of the latest poll that for the first time that gives a majority in favour of independence.Very soon Glasgow may no longer be in the Uk.Can it become a twin city of Manchester like St Petersburg?It also would make the pro Labour editorial of Manchester Confidential look very wide of the mark.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
JuiceSeptember 7th 2014.

No, it really really wouldn't, because it's irrelevant. Crawl back under your bridge, mister troll.

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

I'm sure if a senior aide to David Cameron had allegedly called Northerners "backwards" (according to a Labour MP no less) we'd never have heard the end of it here on Man Con and in the MEN? As it is, neither has even mentioned it. So no wonder Labour are never held to account and are now totally unchallengeable in "one party" Manchester.

JuiceSeptember 8th 2014.

What are you on about Anon?

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

Scotland by making a fuss and rejecting Labour and Tory even without independence gets much higher spending and greater local power.In contrast as long as we listen to likes of Juice and back Labour we will continue to get the crumbs from London table,like the ancient old South East commuter trains we get.

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

Compare the results the Scots get from turning their backs on Labour,with what we get in in the North from supporting them.They got a choice between independence and the massive devolution that today the Tory/Labour establishment is offering them if they vote No.Its time we in the North also turned our backs on all the self serving London based parties and did what's best for us,not the Labour Party,they had their chance for 13 years do do something for the North but preferred to look after their friends in London.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Mark FullerSeptember 8th 2014.

I don't have a problem with political party's being based in London, it,s the disdain{eloquently revealed by Labour M.P.Austin Mitchell recently} of the Labour establishment for it's own northern M.P's and northern voters which is objectionable. As we have seen in Rotherham, the Labour hegenomy, so unhealthily entrenched in the north, treats it's own voters with utter contempt, where it once merely took them for granted. In Rotherham, and countless similar places in the north, the working class are effectively being abused, often under the guise of caring, by the state-which is controlled by Labour,or Labour sympathizers. Out of misplaced loyalty and a kind of collective Stockholm Syndrome, the masses continue to vote for these abusers, these wolves in sheep's clothing. Personally, perhaps like David, I've lost faith in the political process. Although I would love to see Labour annihilated, I don't see any knight in shining armour, or new party that is going to transform our sick society. Change will come, only if people can begin to wake up to the reality of the world, which we maintain through our willful ignorance. One of my favourite modern thinkers, Terrence Mckenna, once said that "the culture is not your friend", I think that's true, but it's a lot to take on board. How many, really want to awaken and be free?

AnonymousSeptember 9th 2014.

Great post Mark. The police are quite rightly taking much criticism nationally for what was allowed to go on in Rotherham (and many other towns also) - but where is the national media outrage and disbelief in the conduct of Labour politicians over all this too? Turning a blind eye to the most appalling abuse of minors, simply because they were poor, they were white, they were from problem families and basically because they were considered unfashionable victims from what Britain's political & cultural elite now see as our indigenous class of "undeserving poor"! Horrendous crimes, but crimes that were considered a political inconvenience to too many Labour politicians eh? Shame on Labour, shame on Labour, shame on Labour.

JoanSeptember 8th 2014.

If we 'turned our backs on all the self serving London based parties' who do you think we should turn to instead? Are you, David, hoping to become the Alex Salmond of the North of England?

9 Responses: Reply To This...
JuiceSeptember 8th 2014.

More like the Nigel Farage of Manchester

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

Joan I am arguing for political parties based in the North,with leaders from the North who put our interests first.Instead of current ones who are all led by men from London and the South East and have totally failed the North.You were put in power Joan by Northern votes and what did you do for us Joan?.Everything you did was for your friends in London and the City.For the North to rise again it needs to not just reject the Tories,but you also.

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

I don't particular agree with Nigel Farage.But as a politician he is effective.Northern Labour MPs certainly ain't and are totally incapable of fighting for the interests of the constituents they represent.

JuiceSeptember 8th 2014.

I am politically neutral but I have to say I find it strange how very little we hear from, and about, our MPs. For example, I felt compelled to check whether Gerald Kaufman was even still an MP the other day. I'd be interested to hear the views of our councillors on this.

JuiceSeptember 8th 2014.

To clarify I am specifically talking about our local MPs in Manchester.

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

Go on Joan please tell us what you think of the performance of the local Manchester Labour MPs?

Calum McGSeptember 8th 2014.

Do tell us how Farage is effective?

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

Manchester's best local MP (well sort of local) must be George Osborne, surely? HS2, HS3, railway electrification, new roads, huge investment at the University & in transport infrastructure etc etc. Thanks George. Thanks for nothing Gerald and all are other local Labour MPs - if you're still there that is!

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

I don't like Farage but like Salmond he has scared the pants of the other parties forcing them into all sorts of concessions on Europe and if he gets his referendum on leaving E U he is just as likely to win it,as Salmond is on Scottish independence.

JoanSeptember 8th 2014.

David, if you're 'arguing for political parties based in the North, with leaders from the North who put our interests first' then you're arguing for a Northern version of the SNP or Plaid Cymru. How far towards the logical conclusion do you want to go? Independence for Lancashire, Yorkshire, Liverpool, Salford? And who will lead?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

I think David's arguing for people from the north who understand the north to run the north. The current London based showers can't or won't do that. And neither will local politicians who toe the London party lines. And, in Manchester, we still have the iniquitous, undemocratic situation where one party gets 21% of the electorate voting for it but snatched 100% of the power in the city. And politicians wonder why people don't bother voting.

DavidSeptember 8th 2014.

Joan when Scotland is independent and eventually it will be then there are going to be all sorts of demands for changes within England and unless politicians in London listen and devolve power and wealth from London then I can see England fragmenting too.

AnonymousSeptember 8th 2014.

Hopefully a yes vote will help drag London & England out of its 19th century mind-set too. So let's hope Labour's white working class core support (who the Labour hierarchy now seem to all despise & disrespect anyway) finally come to their senses and tick that yes box up there.

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