Issued by City of York Council
York remains one of the top performing cities in the UK and has recovered well after the global recession, with improved employment figures taking the city from 20th to 6th place out of the 64 cities analysed, according to an independent report published today (21 January).
The Cities Outlook for 2013, produced by the Centre for Cities, ranks the economic performance of cities across the UK.
The report puts York in the top ten cities with the highest employment rate and is the only city in the North of England in the top ten cities to have the lowest levels of inequality. York is also ranked in the top five cities with the lowest JSA claimant count.
Not surprisingly, with two universities and an excellent reputation for educational provision, York is in the top ten cities in the country based on the percentage of residents with high-level qualifications.
York is also the only city outside of the South of England to feature in the list of top ten cities for low levels of residents with no formal qualifications and high numbers of high-skilled residents.
Whilst among the lowest-ranked cities for housing completions, this is not just a York issue and completions are low nationally. City of York Council recognises the need to increase housing supply and is currently developing housing targets through a new Local Plan, which will sit alongside new economic growth projections and will consult on new housing targets in the spring.
Through York’s new Low Emission Strategy, which was approved by Cabinet last year to protect residents from the harmful effects of local air pollutants, the council is setting a number of climate change reduction targets and has gone beyond the national requirement to meet the Climate Change Act (2008) targets.
Cllr James Alexander, Labour Leader of City of York Council, said: “York continues to be one of the top performing cities in the UK. We’ve seen our employment rate rise by three per cent and we’re in the top five cities in the UK for the lowest unemployment.
“However, we agree with the report that 2013 needs to be a year in which cities call for a shift in the way that economic growth is localised, not least that house building in cities with high house prices and rents, such as York, are prioritised as we also have the demand.
“This is an endorsement of our push to Get York Building and the current work on our development of a new Local Plan, which will be in place 2014/15.
“I will be raising the challenges we face and the incentives, support and autonomy we need to push this agenda forward and grow our economy as part of a response panel for Government on the recent Heseltine report No Stone Unturned in the Pursuit of Growth over the next few months.”
The council bid for a share of the Chancellor’s extra £5 billion available for infrastructure in the autumn, specifically for road improvements, broadband and flood defences. This is in addition to the Super Connected Cities funding successfully bid for by the authority in 2012; to support broadband and city centre wi-fi infrastructure work and accelerate York’s aim to become the most digitally connected city in Europe by 2015.
Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, said: “The report shows that York remains one of the best cities in the country to live and work. It proves that the city is well placed to recover from the global recession and to ensure that all sections of the York community can benefit from new economic opportunities.
“The council is committed to working closely with businesses to build a prosperous future for York, but we are not complacent about the state of the economy. We recognise the importance of inward investment, bringing forward developments, and making sure that there is a skilled workforce to meet employer needs so that the local economy has a robust future.”
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