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Immediate action needed to protect capital post-Brexit, says London Councils Chair

London should have significant responsibilities devolved from Whitehall so it can stimulate growth, boost employment, improve housing and offer better value in delivering public services, the Chair of London Councils has said. 

Speaking ahead of a fringe event at the Labour Party’s annual conference, Cllr Claire Kober OBE emphasised the urgency for powers to be passed to the capital, explaining that this will play a crucial role in ensuring London can rise to the challenge of Brexit.

Key asks in the capital include more control over education budgets, housebuilding and helping long-term unemployed people into work, as well as reform of health services and business rates retention.

Cllr Kober – who will be sharing a platform at the event with speakers including the Chief Economist of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, LSE professor Tony Travers and Core Cities Chair, Judith Blake – said:

“Although we have long been calling for further devolution to the capital, the Brexit vote has further energised London’s boroughs and the Mayor of London to work together for a better deal. 

“The current centralised system – with Whitehall calling the shots in so many areas – has led to huge disparities within the capital and between the north and south of the country.

“We know we can better promote economic inclusion locally, including getting London’s nearly 700,000 unemployed residents back into work. Government now needs to give us the tools to get on with the job.”

Notes to Editors:

London Councils’ joint fringe event with the GLA and Core Cities takes place from 1pm-2pm on Tuesday, 27 September 2016 in Hall 2C, ACC Liverpool. Speakers will be:

  • Cllr Claire Kober, Chair of London Councils
  • Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of Core Cities
  • Ashwin Kumar, Chief Economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation 
  • Professor Tony Travers, Director of LSE London

The session will be chaired by Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor of London for Planning.