Powerful new voice for Key Cities launched in parliament

Big ben and Houses of Parliament

Cities across the UK have gained a powerful new voice in Parliament following the launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group for Key Cities on 8 February.

The cross-party group – co-chaired by Emma Reynolds MP (Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East) and Conor Burns MP (Conservative, Bournemouth West) – will act as an advocate for the Key Cities Group in Parliament, working to ensure that the challenges facing cities are understood and addressed. 

Key Cities was founded in 2013 and now represents 26 cities across England and Wales. It seeks to promote cities as engines of economic growth nationwide, and to ensure that local authorities are empowered to deliver better opportunities and public services for their residents.

The new cross-party group has been launched as the places represented by Key Cities work to address the clear divisions that exist in the wake of the EU referendum, and the reality of economic inequality across the country.

The Group is pursuing clear policy commitments to promote economic opportunity– including those that could potentially be offered through the emerging industrial strategy. There is an opening for these cities to prosper, catalysing growth for communities across the country.

The inaugural APPG meeting discussed these issues with a particular reference to the industrial strategy to help formulate the full Key Cities response, established key themes for the APPG, including the skills agenda, including higher education, the future of technological innovation in cities, and transport connectivity and infrastructure. The Group then set out a programme for future meetings based on these themes.

APPG Co-chair Emma Reynolds MP said: “I am delighted to co-chair this important new cross-party group. I believe it can be an important advocate for the shared interests of our cities. They are rightly called ‘key cities’ because they are key to securing economic prosperity for our whole country. Our cities face both challenges and opportunities in the years ahead, regarding skills, education, local government funding and transport.”

“There is cross-party agreement in many of these policy areas. The APPG will amplify the voice of cities, like Wolverhampton, in Parliament and advocate solutions to the problems we face and offer proposals so that these cities can exploit future opportunities.”

APPG Co-chair Conor Burns MP said:  “I am delighted to be the co-chair of this important APPG. In a time of great change in our country, this APPG ensures that medium-sized cities in constituencies like my own have enhanced representation from Westminster. This APPG will work towards ensuring employment and economic opportunities for citizens and businesses alike, and that local Government has additional support in addressing the challenges of housing, infrastructure and transport as well as the all-important issue of economic development. As PPS to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial I hope the APGG will play a vital role in informing the development of the Government’s industrial strategy and the role of cities in it.”

 

 

Chair of Key Cities Paul Watson said: “This APPG will be invaluable to advance our work in Parliament. We look forward to working closely with all the MPs who have generously given their time to deliver a better deal for the residents we all serve.”

 

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