Key Cities at Party Conferences

Inclusive Growth at the Party Conferences 2016

Key Cities representatives participated in events at Labour Party Conference and Conservative Party Conference this year, as part of our collaboration with the Inclusive Growth Commission. The IGC is chaired by former BBC Economics Editor Stephanie Flanders, and is working on ways to make local communities across the UK can participate fully in a strong and growing economy.

Key Cities Chair Paul Watson appeared on the panel of the Inclusive Growth Commission event at Labour Party conference on 26 September. He argued that sustainable local economic growth required strong communities sustained by active industrial strategies. Other local authority leaders speaking alongside him stressed the importance of serious investment in human capital and meaningful resources for local authorities to support devolution. Councillor Susan Hinchliffe, leader of Bradford, the newest member of Key Cities,  also appeared at the event and argued that improving education was essential to improving living standards and creating successful cities. Councillor Peter John leader of Southwark Council raised the role councils and universities can play in using education to drive growth. Liam Byrne, former Chief Secretary to the Treasury, returned to the theme of education and skills development, making the case for UK companies and government to unlock major investment in research development and training.

Key Cities Vice-Chair John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council, appeared on the panel of an Inclusive Growth Commission event at Conservative Party conference. He argued that devolution needed to go beyond the Northern Powerhouse or Midlands Engine to include cities across the country, including those on the south coast away from major metropolitan areas. Councillor Beesley also pointed out that many councils are cooperating voluntarily with one another to attract inward investment and to work together with business to improve training opportunities for young people. Other voluntary sector and local authority leaders also emphasised the critical need for coordination between multiple stakeholders to improve economic prospects and public service delivery.

You can read more about the events here