Last week elected Leaders and Mayors from cities, towns and regions across came together at the inaugural UK – France Mayor’s summit in London. This is a new forum created by Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, designed to strengthen existing partnerships between towns and cities in France and the UK, and to encourage the creation of new partnerships. The forum also allows French and British politicians to share ideas on how to tackle problems faced by local and regional authorities on both sides of the Channel.
With Leeds’ partnership with Lille dating back over 50 years, Councillor Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council, was invited to join a panel of leaders and Mayors from Nancy, the Tees Valley, Armagh, Rennes and Kent to discuss the challenges faced by civic leaders. She presented Leeds’ approach to creating inclusive growth and described the many ways in which Leeds and Lille work together to exchange best practice around fighting social exclusion, improving skills for young people and regenerating the city in a way that creates employment for local communities.
In an interview for a film made by the British Embassy in France, she joined other Mayors and Leaders in sharing their views on Brexit and the way in which it might affect partnerships between French and British cities. The interviews can be viewed here: