Business leaders call for city ‘devolution’

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Business leaders have called for more decision-making powers to be devolved to Sheffield to help drive economic growth in the city.

A recent campaign meeting said places like Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester should have more say on things like skills and training and transport investment.

Paul Houghton, partner at Grant Thornton, said: “International studies have shown that, where countries have more devolved local control and a stronger performing group of cities, they tend to do better economically. But English cities are not competing on a level playing field, which is undermining UK economic growth and hindering the UK from making full use of its economic assets. The tight central control of finances, local infrastructure development and skills provision has limited what can be achieved in cities and city regions like Sheffield.”

Centre for Cities’ deputy chief executive, Andrew Carter said: “There is real momentum behind the push for devolution.

“Businesses across our major cities, like Sheffield and Manchester, want to see our cities better equipped to punch their weight and contribute more to the national economy.”