Newcastle is part of a new ‘Cities for Business’ partnership launched today calling for more freedom to create jobs and growth.
It has been formed by the Core Cities Cabinet - made up of the eight largest urban areas outside London - joining with the Chairs of the eight Local Enterprise Partnerships which also operate in many other important towns and cities.
The aim is to advise Government on creating growth outside the South East, working together with it on plans to create more jobs and investment and come up with new ideas for supporting local businesses.
These city and business leaders have written to the Chancellor, Shadow Chancellor and Chief Secretary to the Treasury in a joint statement calling for new powers and freedoms to create jobs, growth and investment across England’s biggest cities.
Leader of Newcastle City Council, Coun Nick Forbes, is Core Cities’ Cabinet Member for Public Sector Reform.
He said: “The partnership between the Core Cities and Local Enterprise Partnerships shows how committed we are to working together in the national interest.
“About 95% of all taxes raised in England go back to the Government and the little that we get comes with strings attached.
“Despite the Core Cities’ eight urban areas representing 27% of the nation’s economy we still underperform – that’s because we lack the flexibility to help local businesses, create jobs and attract investment. Together we are stronger and can make a bigger contribution to rebalancing the nation’s economy.”
Paul Woolston, chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership explained why it had become involved.
He said: “Our strategy at the LEP in bringing about more and better jobs underlines the importance of shifting the emphasis from the national to the local, and all of our partners are committed to making this happen.
“There is a real desire across the North East LEP area’s businesses, education and public sectors to be innovative, ambitious and integrated in our work.
“Cities for Business offers an important new partnership through which to influence Government help to drive growth and productivity in Newcastle and the wider North East region.”