The Core Cities Group was established in 1995 and until recently consisted of the eight largest cities in England outside London – however, Glasgow and Cardiff have now joined the Core Cities Group bringing the total to 10 cities.
In England, cities only directly control about 5% of all the taxes raised from local people and businesses. According to the OECD, compared to English figures the level of taxes controlled at the local or regional level is about 10 times greater in Canada, 7.5 in the US, 7 in Sweden, and almost 6 in Germany. This means English cities have nothing like the level of local financial control enjoyed by cities abroad and are not competing on a level playing field.
Greater freedoms to decide how to spend the money generated in cities, such as property taxes, would help the Core Cities meet their target of outperforming the national economy, and becoming financially self-sustaining. Independent forecasts demonstrate this could mean an additional £222 billion and 1.3 million jobs for the country by 2030, which is like adding the entire economy of Denmark to the UK.
To reach growth targets in the next 20 years, Core Cities have to find more investment and more people with the right skills. They need better support for local businesses, improved transport, more and better housing, faster broadband, and to meet rising energy demands.
For more information about the Core Cities, please download the research report.