Monday, 23 January 2012

City Must Be Given The Power To Shape Its Own Future


Cllr Sian Reid

Cambridge City Council Leader, Sian Reid is to call on the government to give the city the power to play a larger part in its future.

Cllr Reid will speak out on Monday (January 23) at the launch of a new report by Centre for Cities, which names Cambridge as one of five cities well placed to drive the country’s economic recovery.

She will tell Minister for Cities, Greg Clark to take notice of the Cities Outlook 2012 report which calls on the government to give Cambridge the financial and political powers it needs to make the right decisions for growth.

The report, compiled by the Centre for Cities, shows how well Cambridge has fared in the downturn compared to other cities and spells out how well it is placed for economic growth.

Sian will tell Mr Clark that his City Deal programme, which gives cities the chance to play a much bigger part in determining their own futures, must be offered to all cities prepared to step up to the challenge not just the larger ones.

“This includes Cambridge,” said Cllr Reid. “We, with our neighbouring areas form an exciting and dynamic city region keen to take charge of our own future.  We need a new relationship with government so we can act and invest for our area.”

The Cities Outlook 2012 report compares the economic performance of 64 cities in the UK. On the measures used, Cambridge is shown to be the UK’s most successful city, coming top in six out of the fifteen measures of success, and second in three others.

The runner-up is London, coming top in three measures of success.

The six measures on which Cambridge comes top in the UK in the study are:

  • Patents per 100,000 of population (with Cambridge three times higher than the next best);
  • lowest percentage of residents with no qualifications;
  • lowest employment disparity between neighbourhoods in the city;
  • lowest Job Seekers Allowance claimant count;
  • lowest increase in Job Seekers Allowance claimant count since February 2008
  • lowest youth claimant count rate.

Cllr Reid added: “But there is absolutely no room for complacency over unemployment figures in the city, especially for young people. That’s why we are very pleased that our Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire Local Strategic Partnership has agreed that getting young people into work should be one its top priorities for spending its last round of grants money, about £100,000.”