Cost of living crisis: South Yorkshire mayor says PM must 'reverse inequalities' to halt 'tidal wave of need'
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Members of the Inclusive Growth Network, including Mr Coppard, other regional mayors and the leaders of councils from Liverpool to Barking & Dagenham in London have penned a joint missive about how to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, which they have published on the day Ms Truss is handed the keys to Number 10.
Below is their statement in full:
“A joint intervention on the cost-of-living crisis by the mayors and political leaders representing the Inclusive Growth Network
“As members of the Inclusive Growth Network, we are committed to spreading economic opportunity and prosperity to all our people and places. We are delivering innovative practical solutions to reduce inequalities and create strong local economies that everyone can contribute to and benefit from.
“The local and combined authorities we represent up and down the UK are preparing to meet with a tidal wave of need this winter. Sharply rising energy prices are set to have a drastic impact on our residents’ living standards.
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“Real incomes are already falling and, as inflation is expected to rise to over 13%, the imminent recession poses a severe threat to our ambitions to deliver more inclusive local economies.
“The Covid-19 pandemic showed that it is not possible to combat a crisis of such magnitude from traditional top-down, central government siloes. This is why IGN leaders have not only focused our efforts on developing collaborative approaches to supporting communities as the crisis intensifies, but also on using the policy, investment and convening powers at our disposal to strengthen our local economies for the long term.
“We will continue to draw on every means we have to help people get through this crisis and build for the future. But we cannot do this alone. We call on the new Prime Minister to address the cost-of-living crisis with the urgency and gravity it demands.
“We also urge the government to adopt inclusive growth as a long-term national economic strategy.
“For growth to recover from this crisis and be sustainable, we will need to reverse the inequalities – in education, health, wealth and income – that have long held back UK productivity.
“We know from experience that making sure that economic growth is inclusive is the only way the levelling up agenda, on which this government was elected, can withstand the political and economic turbulence ahead.”
Political leaders of the Inclusive Growth Network (IGN):
Cllr Christina Black, Lord Mayor, Belfast City Council
Mayor Marvin Rees, Bristol City Council
Cllr Huw Thomas, Leader of Cardiff Council
Cllr Susan Aitken, Leader of Glasgow City Council
Mayor Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Combined Authority
Cllr James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council
Mayor Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
Cllr Darren Rodwell, Leader London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Council
Cllr Marie Burns, Leader of North Ayrshire Council
Mayor Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Combined Authority
Mayor Oliver Coppard, South Yorkshire Combined Authority.