Chuka Umunna

Umunna backs Metro Devo while Jaguar Landrover finds another gear

By: Information Daily Staff Writer
Published: Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 15:26 GMT Jump to Comments

The Shadow Business Secretary has come out strongly in support of regional devolution and the mood in Birmingham at the prospect of a mighty, midlands, super region is more than enthusiastic.

As the Queen visits the Black Country to launch the vast new Jaguar Landrover engine plant, Chuka Umunna the Shadow Business Secretary tells the Birmingham Post that Birmingham, Solihull and the Black Country should be overseen by a “metro mayor” in order to wrest power from Whitehall.

Making a strong case for regional devolution across the UK, Umunna argues that the Mayor of London role has proven “very popular” and has “drive[n] strategic direction for the city as an institution.” 

The mood at the Movers and Shakers breakfast briefing for pan-Midlands property developers in the Burlington Hotel Central Birmingham last month was about as energised as any crowd can get at 7.00 in the morning without actually throwing the TV into the swimming pool. 

Birmingham City Council is currently in talks with the nearby towns and cities of Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Walsall and Dudley to combine efforts in overseeing key areas including marketing, regeneration and transport. Solihull, it is rumoured, is being coy about shared sleeping arrangments but time and the prospect of being a one casino town surrounded by conglomerating super-powers will change all this.

Meanwhile, seven local authorities in the north east of England, now called the North East Combined Authority, have voted to change local bus regulations, ‘effectively reversing the deregulation Margaret Thatcher’s government imposed on bus services across the country in 1986.’

The RSA City Growth Commission, a social think tank, has been instrumental, calling for Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, Liverpool and Leeds to service their 7 million citizens with an Oyster card-style travel infrastructure.

Umunna thinks this move towards self determination from the cities and the regions is all down to "a crisis of trust in our institutions". He is wrong. The nation is simply returning to institutions that once were more or less accesible and more or less accountable (the city and the town hall) and which have been slumbering like Drake waiting for the call.

LANDROVER JAGUAR STORY HERE

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2014/10/29/investment-in-uk-auto-sector-on-an-unprecedented-scale

NE BUSES AND DEVOLUTION STORY HERE

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2014/10/28/devolution-means-councils-climbing-back-on-the-buses

HIGH SPEED BIRMINGHAM STORY HERE

http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2014/10/13/high-speed-birmingham

Comments

Latest

Outdated infrastructure and an increasingly fragmented market threaten the future of technology-enabled integrated care.

County Durham voters back devolution in the North-East, Sir Digby Jones considers run for West Midlands mayor…

The recent launch of The Mayoral Tech Manifesto 2016 on London’s digital future, sets out a clear agenda…

The manufacturing industry is currently facing scrutiny from parties concerned for its survival. Far from facing…

Almost a year ago, I made some predictions for what would take place in government and public sector customer…

Sheffield, Warrington and Doncaster announce cuts, Lincolnshire is held to data ransom, fight begins for West…

Working for an education charity delivering numeracy and literacy programmes in primary schools, I’m only…

Northamptonshire County Council recently received the maximum four star rating from Better connected after putting…

Historically, the entrance of new generations into the workplace has caused varying levels of disruption. The…

Following another commendation for digital services, Surrey County Council's Web and Digital Services Manager,…

We cannot carry on spinning the roulette wheel that is cyber security, knowing that the “castle and moat”…

This week David Cameron wades into row over £69m of cuts planned by Oxfordshire CC; Stoke on Trent plans…