Headlines: November 7th, 2007

The leaders of England’s eight major cities will hear details of the Government’s vision for their future when they come together for the Core Cities Summit today and tomorrow. The Communities and Local Government Secretary, Hazel Blears, will give her first address to them and will set out plans in the light of the review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration, published by the Government in the summer.

Senior figures from Birmingham , Bristol , Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester , Newcastle , Nottingham and Sheffield will be joined by ministers and key figures from the academic and business communities for the two-day meeting in Nottingham. The cities believe the Sub-National Review signalled Government recognition of the progress they have made in driving the economic growth of their regions.

John Healey, the Minister for Communities and Local Government, and one of those behind the Review will be another of the summit’s speakers and will focus on the implementation of the review recommendations to drive up the global competitiveness of English cities and greater devolution from central government. Other speakers include Professor Michael Parkinson from the European Institute of Urban Affairs at Liverpool John Moores University and Sir David King, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government.

The Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn will close the summit at which the core cities will set out joint plans to tackle climate change. So far 200 local authorities have signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change, which was seen as an important step in cities taking the lead on sustainability.

There will be also be a debate on ‘Transport and Devolution: What Next for Core City-Regions?’, which will include a look at models for managing transport networks in city regions, and discussions on ways they can deliver new housing and balance quality with quantity in doing so.