Listen to economist Jim O'Neill on devolution and the future of England's cities
Listen to economist Jim O’Neill on devolution and the future of England’s cities
In a new programme for BBC Radio 4, “The Devolutionaries: Powering Up England’s Cities”, BBC Breakfast business presenter Steph McGovern explores proposals to devolve more powers to England’s cities.
There are growing calls for devolving more powers to England’s cities in the wake of the Scottish referendum. Proponents argue that devolving more power to cities, enabling them to take decisions about taxes and spending, could be the key to making them grow. Compared with other countries, the UK is highly centralised and the devolutionaries believe it is holding back cities outside London from growing.
Steph looks at these arguments, hearing from economist Jim O’Neill, who has chaired a year-long investigation into the subject, the City Growth Commission, which publishes its final report later this month. She finds out why Jim believes it is important for cities outside London to be able to grow into metro regions, in the way that American cities like Boston have been able to recover from deindustrialisation. Steph also meets civic leaders in Manchester and hears about their innovative “earnback” scheme for investing in new infrastructure, finds out how proposals for fiscal devolution might work and how such plans will require new forms of accountability, such as proposals for city mayors.
The show kicks off tonight (Monday 13 October) from 20.00-20.30. Click here for more information.
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