Summary

Since the February 2014 update, cities economic growth and enhanced devolution policies have developed considerably in both practice, and in lobbying/advocacy in anticipation of 2015 general election campaigns.

This briefing reviews the coalition’s agreement of fifteen wave two city deals; the Cambridgeshire ‘Gainshare’ deal; and the April inception of four new Combined Authorities – West Yorkshire; Sheffield City Region; North East; Liverpool City Region.

It also outlines a number of reports on progressing economic growth in and devolution to England’s cities – including the proposed London ‘growth deal’; Centre for Cities ‘Breaking Boundaries’ in March; the Adonis Interim Growth Review report and consequential Miliband/Balls letter to local authorities (LAs), local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and Universities.

Whilst not a comprehensive audit of all such publications, it is intended to give Members and Policy Officers responsible for negotiating enhanced localisation with government in general, and for economic growth in particular, an informed overview of current issues and opportunities.

It raises a number of medium term policy issues for both major urban areas and rural hinterlands. These need to be worked up further and shaped for particular economic geographies if 2015 general election lobbying and advocacy work is to be credible and compelling to any incoming government.

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