Report recommends benefits of devolution for Wakefield and other medium-sized cities

PR 4948
12 May 2015
 
An independent report says that Wakefield and other medium sized cities are likely to benefit more than large cities, if more funding is devolved from central government.

The ‘People, Places and Power,’ report which was commissioned by the Key Cities Group - an alliance of 25 medium sized cities – recommends these cities are given more control over taxes such as VAT, stamp duty and council tax. The money would be reinvested locally to boost business and promote jobs’ growth.

The report also recommends that the government delivers five year funding plans for transport, housing and skills to allow local partners to plan, investment and join up services that will save taxpayers over £2.5 billion a year nationally.

Cllr Peter Box, Leader of Wakefield Council, said: “Devolution is not about asking for more money – it’s about spending money better.

“Bringing decisions about spending closer is something that we as a council are pursuing both for this district – and for West Yorkshire as part of the Combined Authority.

“This report adds to the strong and growing evidence that making decisions and having powers locally is key to delivering the jobs and growth Wakefield and other cities need.”

The report identifies Wakefield’s Troubled Families programmes, as an example of how bringing local services together has already saved over £2.5m a year.

Wakefield has been identified as the fastest growing economy in the Leeds City Region in recent years.

The Key Cities Group includes Wakefield, York, Kirklees, Doncaster and Hull and it commissioned the independent think tank Respublica to write the report.

The full report is available at: http://keycities.cad.io/key-cities-launches-blueprint-city-devolution