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Ahead of the inaugural metro mayor elections taking place in six English city regions, Andrew Carter talks to key staffers in both the Ken Livingstone and Boris Johnson mayoral administrations in London – Sir Edward Lister and Neale Coleman. He finds out how the mayors worked, how the Olympics happened, and how having this form of leadership has helped the capital to go from strength to strength.

They also offer key pieces of advice for the English metro mayors to make their first term – and the model itself - a success. How can they make the most of the power they do have to actually change their cities, how can they work with central and local government, and is there really as much politics involved as everyone thinks?

Andrew also talks to Naomi Clayton and Brian Semple about the impact on UK cities of the recently introduced apprenticeship levy and the recently increased national living wage. They also discuss the landscape ahead of next month’s metro mayor race.

 

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Listen again to the Greater Manchester metro mayor hustings held in partnership with the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce on 5 April 2017.

From May, Greater Manchester will have a new mayor with powers over transport, planning and skills. The elected metro mayor will have an important opportunity to set out and implement a strategic vision for the economy of the metro area, supporting people, firms and institutions to build a more prosperous Great Manchester in the decades to come.

As the campaign for the election gains momentum and voters become more aware of the new position and its powers, Centre for Cities and the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce hosted a hustings for candidates to set out their plans to drive growth in the city-region.

Candidates:

Andy Burnham MP, Labour Party
Cllr Sean Anstee, Conservative Party
Cllr Iain Roberts, Liberal Democrats
Will Patterson, Green

This event was chaired by Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive, Centre for Cities.

 

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Full audio from our Liverpool City Region metro mayor hustings held in Liverpool on 30th March 2017.

From May, Liverpool City Region will have a new mayor with powers over transport, planning and skills. The new mayor will be given the opportunity to set out and implement a strategic vision for the economy of the metro area, supporting people, firms and institutions to build a more prosperous Merseyside in the decades to come.

As the campaign for the election gains momentum, Centre for Cities and the Liverpool and Sefton Chamber of Commerce organised a hustings for candidates to set out their plans to drive growth in the city-region.

Speakers:

Tony Caldeira, Conservative Party
Carl Cashman, Liberal Democrats
Steve Rotheram MP, Labour
Tabitha Morton, Women’s Equality Party
Tom Crone, Green Party

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Full audio from our Cambridgeshire and Peterborough metro mayor hustings held in Cambridge on 28th March 2017.

From May, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough will have a new mayor with powers over transport, planning and skills. The elected metro mayor will have an important opportunity to set out and implement a strategic vision for the economy of the metro area, supporting people, firms and institutions to build a more prosperous region in the decades to come.

As the campaign for the election gains momentum, Centre for Cities and Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce, organised a hustings for candidates to set out their plans to drive growth in the city-region.

Speakers:

Cllr Kevin Price, Labour
Rod Cantrill, Lib Dem
Cllr James Palmer, Conservative
Peter Dawe, Independent

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Full audio from our West of England metro mayor hustings held in Bristol on 22nd March 2017.

From May, the West of England will have a new mayor with powers over transport, planning and skills. The elected metro mayor will have an important opportunity to set out and implement a strategic vision for the economy of the metro area, supporting people, firms and institutions to build a more prosperous region in the decades to come.

As the campaign for the election gains momentum, Centre for Cities and Business West organised a hustings for candidates to set out their plans to drive growth in the city-region. This event was kindly hosted by KPMG.

Candidates:

Tim Bowles, Conservative
Lesley Mansell, Labour
Stephen Williams Liberal Democrats
Darren Hall, Green Party
John Savage, Independent

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In this month’s episode, Andrew is first joined by Alexandra Jones (Chief Executive of the Centre) and Naomi Clayton (Policy and Research Manager at the Centre) to discuss what the spring Budget means for cities. Looking at the Government’s business rates relief measures, the introduction of T-levels and the rise of self-employment, the team give their insights on what this means for cities.

The big issue scrutinised in this month’s podcast is how to make growth inclusive? To tackle this tricky question, Andrew Carter is joined by panellists Katie Schmuecker, Head of Policy at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Dr Neil Lee, Assistant Professor of Economic Geography at the LSE.

They consider what inclusive growth actually means, how it can be achieved and whether it is even desirable. Asking why the majority of people experiencing poverty live in a working household (a staggering figure of 3.8 million people in the UK) Andrew and his guests turn to the UK’s long-standing poor productivity performance compared to some of our competitor nations. With automation on the rise, especially in low skilled sectors such as retail, the panel goes on to consider what the future of work holds and question whether universal basic income is a potential solution.

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In this month’s episode, Andrew discusses the Government’s new industrial strategy and what it could mean for UK cities, with former Business Secretary Rt Hon Vince Cable, Nesta’s Director of Innovation Policy and Futures Louise Marston, and Gavin Kelly from the Resolution Trust.

Vince shares some fascinating stories from about his time in Government, including the battle he faced in making the case for an industrial strategy to Cabinet colleagues, and his regret at not having done more to address strengths and weaknesses in different places. The panel also discuss the legacy of failed industrial strategies from the 1970s in deterring successive Governments from attempting similar initiatives, before looking at how Brexit might affect industrial strategy in the context of competition, exports and international trade.

Before that, Andrew is joined by the Centre’s Chief Executive Alexandra Jones and Principal Economist Paul Swinney to discuss the biggest political developments of the past month, including the Government’s Brexit plans and its new housing white paper.

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In this month’s episode, Andrew is joined by Alexandra Jones and Paul Swinney to discuss what's in store for 2017.

In the main part of this episode, Andrew talks to Greg Clark and Tim Moonen from strategy firm The Business of Cities about two books they have written: World Cities and Nation States and Global Cities. The first book explores the changing relationship between nation states and the increasingly dominant cities they are home to, and the second provides a historical perspective on this development. Greg and Tim outline the different national contexts world cities find themselves in – centralised states, federal states and states that grant cities special status – and then go on to discuss how these affect approaches to cities policy.

The conversation touches on how the degree of urbanisation might impact thinking on cities in different countries, which country gets it most right when it comes to managing their cities, and whether London's dominance makes the UK an outlier internationally. The discussion ends with a look to what the future of urbanisation might look like, both around the world and in the UK.

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In this month's episode, Andrew begins with a brief look at what came out of the Autumn Statement with colleagues from the Centre. Chief Executive Alexandra Jones looks at what the Statement revealed about the relationship between No. 10 and No. 11, and Paul Swinney gives an overview of the Northen Powerhouse strategy paper. Finally Andrew asks his guests whether we're likely to see a slowdown in new devolution announcements.

After that, Andrew debates the impact of Brexit on cities with the economist Vicky Pryce and Prof Tony Travers from the London School of Economics. The discussion begins with a survey of the geography of the EU Referendum vote, and what part economic issues played in how people voted. The conversation then touches on the effect the result is having in Whitehall, what cities can do to influence the government's approach to negotiations, and whether delivering Brexit will take attention away from other priorities (such as devolution to city regions). Finally, discussion turns to how cities can take advantage of the new government's emphasis on industrial strategy.

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On this month's City Talks, Andrew begins with a brief look at the upcoming Autumn Statement with colleagues from the Centre. Chief Executive Alexandra Jones gives her best guess on what kind of tone Philip Hammond will set, and Principal Economist Paul Swinney wonders whether further devolution packages will wait until after the Mayoral elections next year. After that Andrew dives into the gentrification debate with author and journalist Anna Minton, Shelter's Head of Policy Toby Lloyd, and the Centre's very own Ed Clarke, who's recent blog on the issue spurred a lot of discussion on Twitter. The panel look at how the advent of the post-industrial economy has made city living more attractive, why displacement of poorer residents matters to the economy, and how best to manage urban change. Also touched on is whether Ruth Glass' definition of gentrification is still relevant, the problems with Aneurin Bevan's vision of mixed communities, and what Jane Jacobs really thought about the changes to Greenwich Village.

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