Key Cities

  • Tools for a long-lasting recovery

    05 July 2022

    Cities need to be empowered to deliver a proper, long-lasting recovery, says Cllr John Merry – but he adds there is a growing concern about whether the cash to fund the necessary change will be available


  • Show us the money

    09 February 2022

    The Government’s levelling up ambitions are welcome but will need substantial long-term funding if they truly are to succeed, says chair of Key Cities Cllr John Merry.


  • Goodbye city dreams

    11 January 2022

    Sometimes, civil service bureaucrats are just no fun.


  • Instagram leads to investment in our cities

    02 December 2021

    Urban leaders need to better understand their online brand, as cities with fewer mentions across social media and online news tend to attract less investment, says Cllr John Merry.


  • EXCLUSIVE: Questions over taskforce purpose

    19 October 2021

    Local government associations have called for ministers to define the purpose of a new taskforce ahead of April’s launch of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), The MJ understands.


  • Let’s ditch ‘panel game’ funding

    06 October 2021

    Cllr John Merry talks to Ann McGauran about how Key Cities are faring as they look towards recovery, and says he’s approaching the White Paper on levelling up with an ‘open-minded spirit’.


  • Creating a ‘great outdoors’ for our urban centres

    17 August 2021

    Accelerating much-needed renewal of high streets will depend on giving councils the freedom to develop and manage their own strategic place plans, writes Cllr Philip Broadhead.


  • Report finds cities hit by 'Zoomshock' are best placed to economic recovery

    21 May 2021

    Cities have been hollowed out by COVID but they are still best placed to drive the recovery, a report by economic growth specialists Metro Dynamics has said.


  • Levelling up needs long-term approach

    10 May 2021

    A shake-up of local government funding is required to achieve a levelling up of the country, a new report has concluded.


  • City leaders raise concerns over levelling up fund

    25 March 2021

    Council leaders have questioned the how effective the Government’s levelling up fund will prove to be.


  • The high street is dead, long live the high street

    19 January 2021

    Six Key Cities members received all or part of the Future High Streets funding they originally bid for. Cllr John Merry explains how high streets can become the beating hearts of communities once again.


  • 2020: Time for a new era in local and central government collaboration

    14 January 2020

    Chair of Key Cities Cllr John Merry welcomes both devolution and the Government’s stated ambition to prioritise investment in infrastructure ‘as this is something that our regions are crying out for especially beyond London and the Home Counties’.


  • Mid-sized cities should be Government’s automatic choice for tech impact pilots

    03 July 2019

    Chair of the Key Cities Group Cllr Peter Box says mid-sized cities are ideally positioned to be the UK's automation pilot areas (AutoPilots)


  • Time for a UK-wide debate on tourism levies

    03 July 2019

    Cities south of the border including Birmingham have plans to consider tourism levies. Cllr Judith Blake says Core Cities UK believes it's time for a national discussion about whether one might work in the UK.


  • Mid-sized cities are ready to push for enhanced growth

    04 February 2019

    The Key Cities Group's latest report calls on the UK and devolved governments to work more closely with mid-sized cities. They stand ready, willing and able to lead the push for enhanced growth and social mobility, says Cllr Peter Box


  • Denver tax 'demonstrates fiscal devolution need'

    23 November 2018

    The introduction of a 0.25% sales tax in Denver is ‘further proof of the need for devolved political power in the UK,’ a local government finance expert has suggested.


  • Councils warn of no deal Brexit risks

    24 July 2018

    A no deal Brexit would leave councils struggling with new checks on EU imports and without access to billions of pounds, Smith Square has warned.


  • Cities need to up their game to make devolution a success

    12 March 2018

    Devolution is not just about gaining new powers, it is about using the powers you already have. Andrew Carter believes cities are not as doing as much as they can.


  • We need a bolder Budget

    21 November 2017

    Philip Hammond has a chance to put Britain on firmer ground as we leave the EU, and we expect the chancellor to deliver, writes Cllr Peter Box.


  • Newark and Sherwood chief exec moves to Channel Islands

    15 November 2017

    Newark and Sherwood DC’s chief executive, Andrew Muter, will leave the council in February next year to take up a new position as chief executive of the States of Alderney in the Channel Islands.