English cities want more powers after Scotland's verdict

Alex Salmond Image copyright AP
Image caption Could the Scottish independence referendum carry a big political price?

Even the weather in Leicester felt Scottish today... dreek.

And for many struggling in the weather in this East Midlands city, working out the referendum repercussions made heavy weather.

"England may well lose out. We'll be worse off," one shopper told me.

I went to Leicester to gauge reaction to the Scottish referendum decision to stick with the UK.

There was an early sign among some that it may carry a big political price.

"They've got their parliament, but we haven't. That's just not fair," I was told in no uncertain terms by another local. She wanted a parliament for England and more powers for her city.

So in English cities like Leicester, the debate is already under way about any post-referendum powers.

Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said any deal should include giving city halls the ability to raise tax.

"We should have the same range of powers to raise revenue as our continental cousins and our American friends," the Labour mayor said.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption David Cameron gave a statement indicating more powers could be given to English cities

"That will enable us to re-empower local democracy. This is a wonderful opportunity for us in the cities to be able to govern ourselves."

The prime minister has already hinted at devolution for English cities.

"It is also important we have wider civic engagement about how to improve governance in our United Kingdom, including how to empower our great cities," said David Cameron in his Downing Street statement.

"And we will say more about this in the coming days."

It will now be up to English MPs to start to shape it all.

Image caption Politicians, including Sir Peter Soulsby, Anna Soubry and Jon Ashworth, have differing views on devolution

But Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth said it's important not to rush ahead of public opinion.

"I've got views on having more powers for cities like Leicester, Nottingham and Derby and the county councils, but we have really got to listen to what people in the East Midlands want," the Labour MP told me.

"We've got to think carefully about this and not have David Cameron in Downing Street telling us what we are going to have."

Government minister and Broxtowe MP Anna Soubry is also cautious, but for other political concerns.

"We have (Labour) one party states in cities like Leicester and Nottingham, and just look at the things they have done.

"I don't believe they are inclusive. And they don't represent the views of all of the people of the city," she said.

"I'm not in favour of regional devolution. Labour tried that and it was a disaster. But I accept there is a good argument for cities and our shire county councils to have more powers, and these are the discussions we now need to have," she added.

Even before the political dust from the referendum vote has settled, the debate over the extent of devolution for our English cities has begun already.

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