Mayors unite to call for major new programme of devolution to city regions

First-ever meeting of England’s seven regional Mayors

Britain’s seven regional and city-wide Mayors will today meet for the first time and issue a united call for the Government to significantly increase the pace and scale of devolution in order to boost economic growth in Britain and to improve public services.

London is today hosting the first of what is planned to be a series of summits attended by all of England’s regional and city-wide Mayors. The seven – four Conservative and three Labour -  will jointly argue that Britain remains one of the most centralised states in the western world and that devolution is the key to unlocking future growth and improving productivity across the UK.

Cities and metropolitan regions are the main engines of economic growth and job creation in the UK  - and the seven areas under direct control of England’s regional and city-wide Mayors account for nearly 39 per cent of all British growth (GVA), up from 35 per cent in 1997.

The mayors will call for further devolved control over public services including skills, training and apprenticeship services, as well as real influence over programmes designed to help people get back to work.

The will also call for a significant increase in fiscal devolution, with regions given greater control over existing taxes and the revenues they create, rather than having to rely on Government grants. Greater fiscal devolution will give cities the tools and incentives to increase growth and job creation.

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