Cities Need the Power to Realise Their Potential

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), September 17, 2015 | Go to article overview

Cities Need the Power to Realise Their Potential


Byline: PhilBale Leader of Cardiff council

TODAY marks the one-year anniversary of the Scottish independence referendum. It also marks the very first visit of Core Cities to Cardiff.

It's fantastic to be able to welcome the elected city leaders and mayors of Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield to our wonderful capital on such a symbolic anniversary.

Having the Rugby World Cup roll into town at the same time only adds to the significance and emphasises the strides the city has made over the past two decades, raising its profile and taking our rightful place at the Core Cities top table.

Cardiff joined Core Cities last September, the same month the Scottish referendum captured the public's imagination and triggered a debate about the future of the United Kingdom and the devolution of power away from Westminster.

We all know Scotland said No, but one year on, and as we open our doors to our Core Cities colleagues - just what does the political earthquake of the Scottish Referendum and the devolution to cities in England mean for the average citizen of Cardiff or Wales? These are questions that are important to ask. There is no doubt that since the Scottish referendum the appetite for more devolution to the nations and to cities within England has grown.

Core Cities believes in the devolution of more powers to cities.

It believes that by giving cities more powers they can realise their full potential. I believe that too, and seeing Cardiff realise its full potential is what I truly want for our magnificent city.

This is why Cardiff 's role as a Core City is so important.

Cities are where the jobs are being created, and they are where people - particularly young, talented people - want to live.

This is true across the world, it's true across Britain, and it's true in Cardiff.

Your capital city is the economic driver of South East Wales, creating two out of every three net new jobs over recent years, Cardiff is also projected to be the fastest growing major city in Britain over the next 15 years - a reflection on how desirable a place it is to live and work.

Despite this, compared to other European cities like Munich and Barcelona, Cardiff and the other core cities outside London are underperforming.

Did you know GVA per person - one measure used to judge the size and strength of a city economy - in Munich is nearly double that of Cardiff? Cardiff's GVA per head of population is [euro]22,407 compared to Munich's [euro]42,200.

This means that the relative value of Munich's economy is twice that of Cardiff 's. …

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Cities Need the Power to Realise Their Potential
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