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Miliband pledges to give councils more infrastructure spending power

Labour chief Ed Miliband has set out proposals to give councils more power to invest in infrastructure.

The opposition leader accepted a recommendation in Labour peer Lord Adonis’s freshly published Growth Review for combined city and county authorities to be formed and given full control of business rates.

Miliband said the move would tackle problems in skills, infrastructure and economic development in the regions.

He added that combined authorities, existing councils and local enterprise partnerships could receive three times as much money over the next Parliament as currently planned to spend on transport as well housing, employment and skills.

“Independent experts say four-fifths of all the new private sector jobs created since 2010 are in London. We know that’s not good enough,” said Miliband on a visit to Yorkshire yesterday.

“We know what made for successful towns and cities in the past. It is what businesses, universities and civic leaders are trying to recreate here in Leeds.

“A clear mission for the future backed by investment in infrastructure, world-leading education, science and research, gold-standard apprenticeships.

“But it cannot begin unless we give you the power to make it possible. The Adonis Review sets out plans to devolve £30bn worth of funding.

“And the next Labour Government will ensure city and county regions, like this powerhouse economy in Leeds, get control of business rates revenue.”

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