Economic disparities within regions matter as much as the north/south divideby Jonathan Derbyshire / January 20, 2015 / Leave a comment
The closest mainstream politics in the UK got to a consensus last year was the agreement among the three major parties that we had to do something about our cities. Cities, everyone agreed, are the engines of economic growth. We all know about the economic contribution London (and the City of London, in particular) makes to the national coffers, of course. But there was also a growing recognition of the contribution made by our so-called “second-tier” cities (those outside London, in other words): between them, eight of those cities account for a substantial chunk of the country’s economic output.
Those cities could, however, be performing even better, and here the consensus pointed in the direction of some fairly radical political changes. One of its leading representatives, Andrew Adonis, the Shadow Infrastructure Minister, is quoted at the beginning of Cities Outlook 2015, which was published yesterday by the Centre for Cities: “[D]evolution of power and resources from Westminster to Whitehall to city regions across the country,” says Adonis, “is vital to creating a sustainable and strong economic recovery… [This is] a moment of political opportunity for radical devolution, and I hope this moment will be seized across the political divide.”