Book News: March 6th, 2007

This report from the Local Government Association urges Whitehall to loosen its grip on the powers it holds across England to help create a million new jobs. The LGA urges Ministers to follow the example of EU and US cities and regions, if the country’s economic competitiveness is to catch up with that of other European countries.The report cautions that London is the only English city to be represented in Europe’s wealthiest thirty urban centres and, unless a radical review of key powers takes place, regional competitiveness will continue to decline compared to other countries.

Thirty-four recommendations set out reform in key areas including devolving powers over transport, housing benefits, skills and labour market and planning. With 78% of journeys to work shorter than 40 minutes and 70% of house moves taking place over less than 20 miles, the report produces detailed evidence that it is at the level of the city, city region and shire, and not regionally or nationally that the economy functions.

The report is available at: http://www.lga.gov.uk/Publication.asp?lsection=&ccat=28&id=SXD2CE-A783FF72