Boris and Julie join forces

Mayor of London Boris Johnson
Mayor of London Boris Johnson
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Sheffield Council’s leader has joined forces with with the Mayor of London in a campaign for cities to have greater powers.

Boris Johnson, London Mayor, has proposed a ‘historic and significant’ plan to give leaders of England’s biggest cities powers over tax and spending – similar to those devolved to Scotland.

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore

The cities are demanding control over property taxes, including council tax and stamp duty in their areas, rather than allowing the money to flow to Treasury coffers.

London has joined forces with the ‘Core Cities’ of Sheffield, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Nottingham in the power grab.

The authorities want control over council tax, stamp duty, land tax and business rates, with the ability to keep the revenues, rather than relying on government grants.

Mr Johnson said: “It’s a partial but positive and practical answer to the conundrum about English devolution. I believe it is good, not just for the cities involved but for the country at large.”

Coun Julie Dore, council leader, said: “Sheffield is in the best position to know what would be best in terms of economy and infrastructure.

“Having this controlled centrally, as at present, by a London-based Government, is far from ideal.”