Sheffield Council Leader writes to Chancellor

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Council leaders in Sheffield are urging the Government to allow them more control on how public money is spent in the city.

Sheffield City Council Leader, Councillor Julie Dore, has backed a letter written by the leader of the Core Cities Cabinet to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, calling for the devolution of property taxes to the UK’s big cities, including Sheffield.

It would double the taxes cities retain locally, from five per cent to 12 per cent.

Coun Dore is backing the move alongside leaders of Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham councils, claiming they should have greater financial freedoms.

She said: “Currently Britain is one of the most centralised countries in the world. This is leading to bad outcomes with an increasingly centralised economy and growing north south divide, that’s why we’re calling for a fair deal for our cities.

“I fully support this campaign to bring more control to Sheffield over how public money is spent in our city. It is not rocket science – local people should have the right to say how this money should be used in the city for the benefit of Sheffield people.”

Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester Council and chairman of the Core Cities Cabinet, added: “We have the opportunity to emerge from recession with the world once again looking to the leadership of our cities, generating the next set of ideas and industries that will change the globe.

“To realise that ambition, cities must be empowered with the necessary freedoms to deliver. That is why we have joined our voices to those of London in calling for the rapid devolution of property taxes to our major cities.”