Cardiff has now officially joined the Core Cities Group, a network which contains ten of the largest cities in the UK outside London. The Group was established in 1995 and until recently consisted of the eight largest cities in England outside London.
In recent months, both Cardiff and Glasgow have joined the network, the first cities from outside England and so it has now been renamed Core Cities UK.
Last week, I joined other leaders from major British cities for Cardiff and Glasgow’s first Core Cities Cabinet meeting in Manchester. In wide ranging discussions, we considered how the UK’s cities can best support sustainable economic growth and new jobs.
When it comes to creating jobs, and rebalancing the British economy away from London and the South East of England, our cities are vital. The 10 Core Cities deliver 28% of the English, Welsh and Scottish economies combined!
Over the last ten years Cardiff has seen the highest growth in private sector employment of all the major UK cities except London, and for every three net new jobs created in the city-region, two of them were created in Cardiff.
In an increasingly competitive global economy the UK’s big cities are central to the country’s long term prospects.
And yet, we can do more. Although our cities contribute a massive share of the nation’s wealth, they largely underperform by international standards – with the evidence demonstrating this is because cities have too long been subject to centralised control.
Post-referendum, a programme of devolution to Scotland has been set out, and this will have implications for Wales.
In a region where far too many people are still suffering from the decline of our heavy industries, Cardiff can draw investment in from outside Wales, to the benefit of Wales.
But to do so we will need investment into the city and the wider city-region – particularly into transport infrastructure and services – and we will need more freedom, to decide things like how more of the taxes raised locally can be spent locally.
Our membership will ensure Cardiff’s voice is heard in these powerful national debates, and that the capital city secures the investment and the freedoms it needs to carry on creating jobs, not just for the people of Cardiff, but for people across South Wales.
Become a Dementia Friend
At a meeting of the full Council on Thursday 25 September, a motion to Council was unanimously supported which resolved to work towards making the City of Cardiff a dementia supportive community.
We’re growing older as a society. According to figures published by the Alzheimer’s Society in 2012, over 44,500 people in Wales are estimated to be living with dementia and this is predicted to rise to almost 56,000 people by 2021. Dementia is one of the biggest health challenges facing us today, and as we grow older and live longer as a society, it will only rise in importance.
The Council will continue to work jointly with partners from the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors to develop and improve services for people living with dementia and their carers.
People with dementia rely on the help of their family and friends, and so it was agreed that each elected member will sign up to registering as a Dementia Friend. If you’d like to make a difference and help people living with dementia in your community, you could sign up too.
As part of this commitment, the Council also agreed to create and appoint an elected member to the position of Dementia Champion and appoint a lead officer for dementia to help tackle this important issue for the city.