Progress and the future to be discussed at ‘State of the City’ follow-up

Further developing the concept of ‘civic enterprise’ in Leeds to improve people’s lives will be the focus of a special session of the full council this week.

Following on from the session held into the annual ‘State of the City Report’ in November, councillors, key partners and stakeholders from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors will again come together to debate the future of Leeds at the session scheduled to be held in Civic Hall from 5.15pm on Wednesday (27 February).

The key focus will be ways for all of the groups to learn from each other and develop stronger links through the idea of ‘civic enterprise’ to enable the best level of services to be available to the people of Leeds by exploring and adopting new ways of working.

The session will be addressed by guest speaker Roger Marsh, Leeds office senior partner at PwC, who will comment on economic and employment prospects for the city and the wider country in the current difficult financial climate.

Roger Marsh follows on from Olympic Triathlon Champion Alistair Brownlee MBE, who addressed the previous meeting with his thoughts on how the city could provide a lasting legacy to the success of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Leeds office senior partner at PwC Roger Marsh, who will discuss the government’s austerity plan and the impact of reductions in public spending, said:

"As part of rebalancing the whole economy, I have long argued that the creation of centres of economic excellence across the country, based on the historical successes of different regions, is the way forward for UK plc.

"For Leeds, and the wider city region, building on our successes in meditech, digital, financial and professional services will be amongst those that are key to future prosperity.

"Though the road ahead remains challenging, there are real grounds for optimism but no room for complacency. It’s not just about doing things differently it’s also about doing different things; breaking out of the historic mould."

Following the keynote speech, the meeting will then divide into smaller seminar sessions, focusing on some of the key elements identified in the State of the City Report:

• Dealing with debt and welfare reform

• Low carbon energy and fuel poverty

• The role of civic society in creating strong communities

• The best start for children

• Health and communities – looking after people with long-term conditions

These sessions will include talks by invited guests from all sectors in Leeds and will also be attended by young people from the city.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“The last session we held into State of the City Report and its outcomes gave us a valuable insight into both the challenges we face but also the opportunities through greater cross-sector working which can bring about a real difference to people’s lives.

“This session is about taking that on a step further and also continuing to look at new ways of delivering services and improvements. With another year of significant funding cuts and major challenges facing the council to come, we need to explore every available opportunity and idea which will help us tackle inequality in Leeds and provide in vital areas such as health, job creation and training.

“We have stated our ambition to make Leeds the best city in the UK, and if all sectors come together and put civic enterprise into action I am confident that goal can be achieved.”

The State of the City session of the full council meeting will come after the conclusion of the debate and vote on the council’s annual budget.

To see the full State of the City Report 2012, go to the following link: www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/State-of-the-city-report.aspx

Notes to editors:

The annual State of the City Report for Leeds, which examines and evaluates key areas of life in Leeds, underpins the Vision for Leeds, The City Priority Plans and the Council Business Plan.

The report has been written by Leeds City Council, the NHS in Leeds and the wider public sector partnership. It sets out a range of key facts about the city, the challenges it faces and the way in which the council, NHS and other public and third sector partners will be working together to secure the best possible prospects for the people of Leeds. The report is for anyone who wants to know more about Leeds - as a member of the community, someone who works in Leeds, visits, learns, does business or invests in the city.

The partnerships in Leeds will use the report to assess their progress in delivering improved outcomes for the people of Leeds as part of the long-term aim to be the best city in the UK.


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk