What makes for a successful UK City
Today Belgrave attended Cambridge Ahead's annual seminar, 'What Makes for a Successful UK City in the 21st century?' where we were able to listen to an interesting array of speakers discussing the Cambridge and Peterborough economies.
Both areas have seen immense growth over the years, one statistic had their growth levels in the top four towns and cities across the UK. Success was placed on ensuring a strong knowledge based and being ‘reinventors’. Indeed, Cambridge was in 3rd place for GCSE results across the UK.
Growth for the Cambridge economy modelled across one, three and five years all showed a projected 7% growth. The compound effect would be the economy doubling in size across the next 10 years. This raises many challenges with the two-tier local government model being a barrier to delivering for the needs of the area, especially for infrastructure. For example Cambridge Ahead surveyed local businesses, which found that 22% of firms found their productivity impacted by workers commute into work. Some hope was placed on devolution and the new combined authority with an elected Mayor helping to address this.
But change is needed at a national level also. In the time of Chamberlain, half of all taxes were retained by the local area. Today it is just five pence in every pound.
It is clear that the new Mayor, to be elected in May, will have significant expectations and hopes placed upon them.