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Belfast City Council mulls over devolution priorities

Words: Roger Milne

Think tank ResPublica has told Belfast City Council that any new devolution package as part of a ‘city deal’ for the Northern Ireland capital and its immediate sub-region should involve employment, regeneration and transport.

A briefing paper prepared by the think tank for the council stressed that these were the areas in which devolution has produced positive results “elsewhere in the UK and ones in which the ‘Belfast effect’ could spread benefits to many of the surrounding areas and Northern Ireland as a whole”.

The city council is keen to see powers from Stormont devolved as it ramps up its economic performance and the quality of its public services.

One of the most enduring challenges of the Belfast economy is that it is more dependent on the public sector than any other UK city region – three times as dependent as London, and twice as much as many others.

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