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Stories Stories Politics Labour or Conservatives – what powers are the major parties offering councils?

Labour or Conservatives – what powers are the major parties offering councils?

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Written by Aldine      July 10, 2014    
 
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It's unusual for the Conservatives and the Labour party to agree on something but, despite some disputes over data and the finer details of achieving their goals, they concur that the UK needs stronger cities outside the capital.

Labour launched its plans for giving cities more power through Lord Adonis' growth review, laying out proposals for re-balancing the economy. The Conservative party also announced it would give the regions more power, with chancellor George Osborne suggesting that the appointment of Boris Johnson-style elected mayors would create a "northern powerhouse".

When asked about possible cross-party consensus around devolution, the former Cabinet minister Adonis said that the question would increasingly be about who is going to act rather than just make speeches.

Being Said

• What Miliband says
Miliband has assured local government that he doesn't want to create a new layer of bureaucracy but give existing institutions more power. "Let us trust local government to work together with business and local enterprise partnerships," he said.

And his critics…
Labour's Jon Cruddas has shown frustration that "cynical nuggets of policy" that chime with focus groups are being prioritised over innovation and creativity in policymaking. Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, denied Cruddas was frustrated by a lack of big policies from the Labour party.

• What Cameron says
"By trusting local people, backing business and investing in infrastructure, skills and housing, we can create thousands of new jobs," Cameron said. He added that for too long the economy has been London-focused and that these deals will help fire up other cities.

And his critics…
Chuka Umunna, shadow secretary of state for business, innovation and skills, has said that the government's regional growth fund has left local areas waiting years to receive their money, with millions of pounds "gathering dust in Whitehall". "The government has admitted that some of these funds aren't scheduled to be drawn down until the next parliament," he wrote in the New Statesman. Umunna said the Conservative government's plans fell fall far short of Labour proposals.

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Location

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Home Office
2 Marsham St
London SW1P 4DF
United Kingdom

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Author
Sarah Marsh
Contributor's Comment
With promises of devolution to local government from both the Tories and Labour, we look at the fine print
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