England’s Metro Mayors are meeting today in Birmingham to call on Government for further investment and devolution for their city-regions.
Five Mayors have co-signed a letter to the Prime Minister Theresa May, calling on the Government to review the way in which funding for new housing is allocated to city-regions.
The letter highlights the specific needs of their regions, such as the need to regenerate brownfields sites and improve the viability of developments where land values are lower than in London and the South East.
Conservative and Labour Mayors call on the Government to review the funding formulae that are used to allocate housing investment, to ensure that city-regions outside London and the South East do not lose out on vital funding.
The letter argues that investment in housing supply, and skills and innovation in the construction industry, will accelerate economic growth and the re-balancing of the UK economy.
This intervention comes at a crucial time for many of the city-regions, as they are negotiating “Housing Deals” with the Government, where regions commit to building more homes in return for infrastructure and housing funding.
Since their election on 4th May 2017, the Metro Mayors have met a number of times to lobby the Government to support their city-regions.
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The very fact that Mayors from different parts of the country, and different political parties, are coming together to demand a fairer distribution of public resources should send a strong signal to the Government.
“For too long, investment in transport and housing has been skewed towards London and the South East. We urgently need to change that so we can rebalance the country’s economy and build the new homes we need to ease the housing crisis.
“As Mayors, we stand ready to work with the Government to play our part in that. But we need them to meet us half-way and provide funding and flexibility to help us unlock brownfield sites. Failure to do so will only increase pressure on green space and intensify the housing crisis.”
The summit is hosted by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, the University of Birmingham and the Local Government Association.