Ed Miliband is to promise to put powerful “city-region” government at the heart of a Labour attempt to rebalance growth in the UK, claiming his plan represents “the biggest economic devolution of power to England’s great towns and cities in a hundred years”.
He will say he is willing to hand over £4bn a year of Whitehall expenditure to city and county regions that cross current local government boundaries. The sum is double that proposed by the government.
He will make the commitment in a speech in Birmingham when he reveals the interim report of a review being drawn up by former Labour cabinet minister Lord Adonis.
Miliband will say: “The country that once built its prosperity on the great towns and cities, like Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff has become a country which builds its prosperity far too much on one city: London.”
The need for a level of government set at city-region level has been underlined by the fact that 50% of urban workers live and work in different local authority areas. There are inadequate incentives for local authorities to work in partnership, the Adonis review has found.
Yes, yes, yes. This is just that thing about splitting England up into EU approved regions again. Except this time there’ll be no referendum, as Prescott had in the NE, to allow the people to object. Same damn policy with the same end in mind. If we break up England as a political entity then we can have that regional government and the EU government and the national bit in the middle doesn’t have much to do.
And guess where all the important decisions are going to get made in such a system? Quite, the one that we can’t vote out.