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2003 LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE - CITIES NEED MORE ECONOMIC CLOUT

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Economic localism could involve giving city councils more financial clout than other authorities because of their i...
Economic localism could involve giving city councils more financial clout than other authorities because of their importance in driving growth, according to Professor Gerry Stoker.

Speaking at a fringe meeting on local government's role in the economy, the Manchester University academic suggested this could mean letting cities issue bonds for infrastructure projects, and even giving them tax-raising powers over their surrounding regions.

He said: 'Where a local authority or set of local authorities are central to a local economy there's a case for giving them more powers.'

But fellow panelist, and chair of the Local Government Association, Sir Jeremy Beecham (Lab) joked that Mr Stoker's vision for so-called city-regions amounted to a 'new colonialism'.
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