RSA Inclusive Growth Report welcomed
Core Cities UK, Key Cities and London Councils, which together represent 36 of the UK’s biggest cities, all 32 London Boroughs and the City of London, have unanimously welcomed the findings of today’s final report from the RSA Inclusive Growth Commission.
The year-long commission, chaired by former BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders, will set out recommendations for how Britain can build a stronger but more inclusive economy, creating quality jobs and giving more people the skills they need to get them.
The three groups have today called for the RSA’s report recommendations to be adopted by cities, businesses, and particularly by Government, saying they are key to delivering the Prime Minister’s aims of a ‘shared society’ and an ‘economy that works for everybody’.
They would also like to see Chancellor Philip Hammond announce measures in tomorrow’s Spring budget that will help towards these goals.
And they will now look at what they can do locally to implement some of the report’s recommendation and work together to achieve ‘good growth’ in their cities.
Birmingham City Council leader Cllr John Clancy said: “Creating inclusive economic growth is right at the top of my agenda for Birmingham. It is simply unacceptable that in Britain today the majority of households living in poverty are actually in work. Put simply, low pay and poor job security means that work isn’t working for enough people.
“Our economy needs a more diverse, locally focused and sustainable approach to finance if we are to rebalance the economy and fulfil the growth potential of all our cities and all our citizens.
“Our aim is that in the years ahead Birmingham will once again be a pioneer of local banking, helping to create new local institutions that can support business growth and community regeneration.”
Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and Chair of Core Cities UK, said: “Living standards across our cities have been too low for too long. Large numbers of people feel left behind, juggling jobs and childcare while being unable to find a home they can afford to rent or buy.
“Repeated under-investment in a fragmented education, careers and skills system has failed to provide people with the knowledge they need to get better jobs. That’s bad for people, bad for business and bad for the economy.
Meanwhile, our nation’s productivity continues to flat-line at a critical moment.
“But, as the final report from the RSA points out, it doesn’t have to be this way. The Commission’s recommendations are potentially game-changing, and we urge government, cities and businesses to come together and implement them as a matter of urgency.”
Cllr Paul Watson, Chair of the Key Cities Group and Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: “We’re not simply going cap in hand to government. We know that there is always more that we, as city leaders, can do. If we are to drive up productivity and reduce dependency on public services like health and welfare then we need a new way of going about growth.
“Government needs to act and we will work with them, but we will also act now, in the interests of our places and all their people. There are a number of simple, common-sense steps that we can take right now to make sure economic growth benefits many more people.”
Cllr Clare Kober, Chair of London Councils and Leader, Haringey Council, said: ‘The Commission’s report makes clear that devolution is critical to delivering growth that everyone can benefit from. I could not agree more with the need to move away from the centralised form of government that currently exists, to a model where our cities and regions are able to direct investment and resources in a way that best fits their local ambitions.
‘That the Commission recognises the importance of councils’ leadership in ensuring we are not managing decline but encouraging growth is a welcome endorsement of what is already happening in many parts of the country”