Local Government Association calls for central government to devolve powers to regional cities to boost productivity

 A million jobs would be created if regional British cities gained devolved powers, a report claims today.

The Local Government Association’s (LGA) report urges the government to spread powers away from Whitehall. Prosperous Communities warns that London is the only English city in the top 30 list of Europe’s wealthiest, and that a radical review of key powers is urgently needed.

It says that the output per worker could rise by more than 10% in six regions, increasing national output by £2.5bn per year.

The LGA wants the regions to gain powers over transport, housing, benefits, skills, labour markets and planning.

Sandy Bruce- Lockhart, chairman of the LGA, said: “British productivity is below the average of G7 countries, lagging behind the US, France and Germany.

“We have a great global city in London. But other places in Britain, once world-beaters, have fallen behind.

“In the light of the evidence, economic devolution now seems to be both necessary and unavoidable. The government has created for itself an unmissable opportunity to bring about this decade’s decisive economic transformation.”

Bristol is the best-performing UK city outside of London, being placed 34th in the European league table.

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