The leader of Wakefield MDC has been appointed as the new chair of the Key Cities group which champions the UK’s medium-sized cities.
Peter Box (Lab) replaces Paul Watson (Lab) who is stepping down to focus on his roles as leader of Sunderland City Council and chair of the North East Combined Authority.
Cllr Box, who has been leader of Wakefield for the last 19 years, said: “I am delighted to take up this role and am keen to build on our achievements over the last four years.”
A press release announcing Cllr Box’s appointment said economies in the group’s 21 member cities were growing faster than the UK’s 10 largest cities.
Cllr Box added: “Our message is clear - if you want to achieve more growth, more quickly, then Key Cities are best placed to deliver this. Since 2008, we have experienced a bigger growth in GVA than the Core Cities and have far greater potential for future growth.
“We will be working closely with ministers on the government’s industrial strategy and it’s clear that ministers already have a better understanding of the benefits of investing in the Key Cities.”
The Key Cities group at present includes Blackpool, Bournemouth, Bradford, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Hull, Kirklees, Newport, Norwich, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Preston, Salford, Southampton, Southend-on-Sea, Sunderland, Tees Valley, Wakefield, and Wolverhampton.