Leeds, led by Councillor Judith Blake, has joined leaders of major international cities such as Paris, New York and Tokyo, by signing up to the OECD’s Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth initiative, a global coalition of city leaders committed to addressing inclusive growth in cities.
Since the initiative launched in 2016, Champion Mayors have helped to promote and elevate the work cities are doing to reduce the inequalities gap that exists in many of the world’s cities. Examples of the types of measures and policies being introduced by cities include innovations in healthcare, living wage campaigns and city identification cards to improve access to public services.
The Champion Mayors group also allows member cities to collaborate on strategic opportunities that address inequality and share best practice on strategies and policies that can help build inclusive cities.
Leeds’ compassionate city approach, with a strong focus on inclusive growth, was key to the city being invited to join the prestigious network. In 2018, Leeds set out its Inclusive Growth strategy, with 12 “big ideas” that act as an action plan to encourage inclusive growth in the city, focusing on supporting people, places and productivity. The Inclusive Growth Strategy makes up one of the three key strategic pillars for the city – the other two being health & wellbeing, and the climate emergency.
Commenting on joining the OECD’s Champion Mayors for Inclusive growth initiative, Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Judith Blake said: “The power of the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth Initiative is that national borders don’t get in the way of our conversation about how to address inequalities in our cities.
“When Mayors and Leaders build their city strategies centred on inclusive growth, this means getting everyone to benefit from the economy to their full potential. It means raising our productivity, increasing skills levels, more innovation and better infrastructure.
“The coronavirus crisis has increased inequalities, and the rising unemployment rates of young people is of particular concern. We must do all we can to support vulnerable groups and be prepared to deal with long term consequences of the pandemic.”
If you would like to keep up-to-date with what’s happening in Leeds relating to inclusive growth, then why not follow the Inclusive Growth Leeds twitter page.
And more information about the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth can be found here.