Queen's Speech Key Cities Response

Cllr Paul Watson, Chair of the Key Cities Group and Leader of Sunderland City Council, said:

"The Cities Devolution Bill is a landmark step for Westminster. It offers the opportunity for cities to assume real powers to boost economic development and deliver a better deal for their residents. We are very much encouraged that the Government is willing to loosen Whitehall’s grip on power.

"We await the full detail of the Bill, but encourage the Government to be bold and spread power far and wide.  Our recent report Power, people and places: A Manifesto for devolution to Britain’s Key Cities, has shown that local control of taxes ranging from VAT to stamp duty and council tax and five-year funding settlements, for areas including employment, skills, transport, housing, and infrastructure could save £12.5 billion over the course of this Parliament.

"Key Cities have already grown strongly since the recession, leading the way from advanced manufacturing to support for small businesses or research and development. We are poised to help build a stronger, more inclusive, more prosperous economy. This is a chance the country cannot afford to miss."