Comment on the result of the Scottish Referendum
Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
"The Scottish Referendum has proved people feel passionately about, and want to get involved with, political debate when it directly involves them and their local communities. This result reinforces the widespread belief that further devolution must happen, giving local people much more say and control over spending and investment in their areas to promote growth, job creation, stronger communities and prosperity for all. For this to happen we need a true commitment to decentralisation and there needs to be a genuine timetable in place, with strong direction as to how this will happen.
"Leeds City Council and its partner neighbouring local authorities in the Leeds City Region will continue to call for significantly more devolution from Whitehall, not only for countries but for cities and city regions, in terms of greater decision-making powers and financial control including local tax retention. This is vital if we are to be able to take the local action we know we need to improve transport connections between different economic markets - to promote growth, create jobs and in turn rebalance the national economy to benefit the north.
"As we referred to in the Commission on the Future of Local Government document, there is no longer a one size fits all approach to be taken in the UK. Devolved powers to Scotland and Wales have already created very different environments for local government, and this needs to be built on across the whole country. Councils are becoming increasingly innovative and effective in the way they deliver services and are closer to the communities they serve, and therefore better placed to deliver locally.
"All of the main political parties agree that the national economy must be rebalanced, and we look forward to them delivering on those words as quickly as possible so the Leeds and wider northern economy can be allowed to grow and realise its immense potential for the benefit of millions of people and the country as a whole."
Notes to editors:
The report by the Commission on the Future of Local Government can be seen at http://civicenterpriseuk.wordpress.com/commission-final-report/
Leeds City Council press office
Tel: 0113 395 0244