Leader joins national cities lobby group

The leader of Telford & Wrekin Council has joined the UK councils’ main representative group that lobbies around growth, transport infrastructure and skills – all key issues to the borough.

Cllr Shaun Davies has joined the Local Government Association’s (LGA) City Regions Board.

The group is made up of council leaders from major cities council across the country and its role is to represent the interests of city areas and help shape national policy affecting these,  includes lobbying the Government

The Cities Region Board, which also includes wider public service reform in its remit, is chaired by the leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese.

Cllr Davies said that his inclusion on the board was recognition of the borough economy’s rapid growth and strength and how the borough punches well above its weight regionally and nationally. Telford is one of the fastest growing towns in the Midlands with a skilled workforce of 600,000 within 30 minutes’ drive and over 1,000 new jobs created since 2016.

He said: “This is a real positive for Telford and Wrekin that we have been asked to join this board. Although we’re not a city, it’s a clear sign that we are seen economically as a city and as a driver of the region’s economy.

"The Council has worked to secure millions in public and private investment into the borough including the development at Southwater and the redevelopment of all our secondary schools to create new centres of learning.

“It’s further recognition of our growth trajectory, as a place that is a magnet for investment and the recent successes we have had like the development of the Magna one of the UK’s biggest foreign direct investments, the success of the ground-breaking Telford Land Deal and recent major developments in the borough’s infrastructure.

“Our successes are increasingly recognised on a national level by groups like the Centre for Cities

“The LGA can exert major influence on government policy and thinking on issues like transport infrastructure and skills which we know are very live issues for the borough that the Council is working very hard to improve, but we can’t do this alone. Involvement in the group will also enable the Council to lobby Government for resources to help regenerate new town infrastructure and housing areas.

“I intend to use my place on this Board to make the case as strongly as possible for the borough and showcase the great excellent work we are doing to create a better borough.”