power to make tough decisions for growth says new report.
LOCAL authority mayors
should be given more powers to make the difficult decisions which
can support growth. That is the conclusion of a report published
today by the Institute for Government and Centre for Cities, which
urges the government to devolve more powers to mayors through the
localism bill and also give cities the freedom to bid for metro
mayors with additional powers.
The report Big Shot or Long Shot? How elected mayors can help
drive economic growth in England's cities shows that mayors have
potential to make a strong impact on the challenges that affect the
growth of our cities. But the report argues that Mayors need greater
powers to make the more controversial yet important decisions about
planning and transport to give them best chance of delivering the
strategies that can support growth. These include:-
► Strategic oversight of the council’s core strategy (the Local
Development Framework) to ensure that it looks beyond administrative
boundaries – this could be similar to the London Plan.
Taking decisions about strategic
planning applications which support economic growth, such as major
infrastructure projects or major housing sites.
► Chairing the Integrated Transport Authority – we know that
successful transport policy can enable economic growth. The Mayor
should play a key role in developing this.
► Co-chairing the Local Enterprise Partnership. This would help give
Mayors a strong presence amongst the local business community. It
would enable the Mayor to communicate to central government the
needs of the area.
The report also calls on government to give cities the option to
decide which mayoral model is right for their local economy. The
report states that some cities would benefit from a ‘metro mayor,’
who would govern a wider geographic area to cover the level of the
natural economic boundary. These metro mayors would be most
affective with additional powers that take from the most successful
aspects of the London Mayoral model - strategic powers over
transport, planning and skills, to drive a strategy for growth.
Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities said:-
"Mayors have the potential to improve how cities are governed but to
realize their full promise they need additional powers and influence
to those currently proposed. Centre for Cities research shows that
skills, transport and planning remain the most significant and
urgent barriers to growth; mayors will need to be able to tackle
these through formal and informal powers.
Citizens in every city and city region should be able to make their
own decisions about the right governance for their place and their
economy. So we are also urging the government to amend legislation
to give cities the option to have either a local authority or metro
mayor. Where there is political appetite for metro mayors, they
would operate across functioning economic areas and so have the most
potential to support business growth and job creation. All these
models can and should evolve over time."
Andrew Adonis, Director of the Institute for Government said:- "Central
government has a real opportunity in the localism bill to
demonstrate its commitment to strong city leadership and to
encourage growth by divesting the powers to drive it. Evidence from the UK and
abroad shows that elected mayors can have a transformative effect on
city economies. But if they are going to succeed, government first
has to give them the powers to make a difference. The London experience has
shown that mayors can deliver change for-the-good but only where
they can make city-wide strategic decisions that transcend local
in-fighting and nimbyism”.
The report Big Shot or Long Shot: How elected mayors can help drive
economic growth in England's cities will be launched in Birmingham
at KPMG’s offices in Birmingham at 10am on Tuesday, 14 June 2011. Spaces
at the event are limited.
Do you agree? Let us know your
views on this topic by emailing is to:-
firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what your
voice is saying!
NEW KID ON THE ALLOTMENT
Allotment Society (BIAS) has recently been launched to cater for the
needs of over 100 plot-holders and several community groups on the
Birkdale site, and aspires to serve the wider local gardening
community who are invited to join as associate members. The society
is especially keen to offer friendship and benefits to the hundreds
of people stuck on the allotment’s waiting list. Membership benefits
include discounts on seeds and local gardening supplies, and the
opportunity to draw on members’ friendly expertise.
includes a forum where gardening resources such as plants and
equipment can be given away or swapped, and advice sought. For
further information, please visit the website or contact the
secretary, Mark James on:- 01704 540612.
The society has already organised improvements to the badly potholed
road, and aims to improve site security, as there has been a recent
spate of fly-tipping and theft on the site. They have applied to the
Woodland Trust for free trees to secure the perimeter with hedging,
and to the Council for dog litter bins.
Chairperson Paul Williamson said:- "Although we are a young
Allotment Society, we are actively working to support the needs of
our plot-holders as well as those people who are on long waiting
lists for a plot. As local people become more conscious of the
health benefits of fresh locally grown wholesome food, costing a
fraction that bought from a supermarket, they are becoming
increasingly frustrated by the inability of the local authority to
make adequate provision for their needs. Perhaps the local authority
can rise to the challenge and make due provision before the end of
Mike Booth, Sefton Cabinet Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism
was a guest at the Society’s first A.G.M. in March. He said:-
"It is always heartening to speak about good news in our borough
rather than dwelling on current problems. I enjoyed the company of a
large group of keen and dedicated allotment tenants, positive and
eager to improve the facilities offered at their site. Allotments
are an important feature of our borough, offering a healthy activity
that provides a great return for the effort put into the land.
Judging by the reception I received, this dedicated group of
enthusiasts will also offer friendship and good company to anybody
that chooses to join them."
Win £5000 of
Canon equipment with manufacturing photography competition
PROFESSIONAL and amateur
photographers, including young talent, are invited to put the pride
back in local manufacturing by focusing their cameras on the heroes
of modern industry. The EEF Heroes of Modern UK Manufacturing
Photography Competition aims to capture the people, products, places
and processes that make UK manufacturing great.
The competition, supported by Canon, The ERA Foundation, the
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, The Guild of
Photographers, and The Manufacturer magazine, is free to enter, with
three categories of professional, amateur and young people aged
14 to 19. Winners will be announced at the prestigious EEF Future
Manufacturing Awards in January 2012, and the gallery of winning and
shortlisted images will be showcased throughout the year.
Canon is providing prize vouchers for £5000 worth of photography
equipment, which will be shared among the winners.
Announcing the competition, EEF Chief Executive, Terry Scuoler,
said:- "We’re inviting photographers of all ages to capture a
new image for UK manufacturing – one that banishes the negative
stereotypes of dark, cold factories and oily rags – and demonstrates
the modern face of the sector. It’s an open brief with a heroic
theme that can focus on any aspect of UK manufacturing.”
Giving his support to the awards, Business Minister Mark Prisk, MP
said:- "Copies of some of last year’s winning photographs are
proudly displayed in my ministerial office – they're a daily
reminder of what’s great about UK manufacturing and how crucial the
sector is to rebuilding and rebalancing the UK economy. Once
again, I fully support this competition and look forward to seeing
the dynamism of modern industry captured on camera."
Entry is free via the EEF website at:-
eef.org.uk/photo with entries closing on 31