The Demos-PWC Good Growth forCities report was created over tenyears ago as a way to measure the success of cities beyond GDP growth.
Oxford ranked as the top city inthe UK, improving on last year’s score.
However, Oxford received negativescores in house price to earnings, work-life balance and transport. The house price to earnings measure was the only one of these which worsened this year.
The report said: “Oxford’s exten sion of its lead at the top of this year’s index reflects continued improvement across a range of measures, including work-life balance, skills, income and transport. Oxford also performs strongly across jobs and health, scoring within the top five cities for both of these variables.”
Gordon Mitchell, Chief Executive of Oxford City Council welcomed the news, saying, “It is obviously great to see proof of what we all know: that Oxford is a wonderful place to live and work. But we must not rest on our laurels, and Oxford City Council is committed to tackling inequality in the city.
“Through its Oxford Strategic Partnership and in partnership withOxLEP, the City Council is bringing together a range of expert voices to look at how we can develop a more inclusive economy here in Oxford. We want to ensure that benefits of continued growth are spread more evenly.
“We are already playing a part in building a more inclusive economy through the Oxford Living Wage, our focus on apprenticeships, our work with social enterprises, and by using our procurement to support local small businesses.
“We are also committed to build-ing thousands of new genuinelyaffordable homes within and nearthe city to ensure that young people can afford to live close to their work-places, and their families.”
Oxford has increased its lead over its nearest competitors, Reading andSouthampton.
The report also compared enterprise partnerships, and Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership is again the highest scoring.
Nigel Tipple, Chief Executive ofthe Oxfordshire Local EnterprisePartnership, said: “This report fur-ther underlines the continued and sustained strength of the Oxfordeconomy – and indeed – the wider Oxfordshire economy too.
“As well as recognising our eco-nomic success, the report effectively highlights that we truly are a major asset to the UK economy. Not only are we currently one of just three net County areas that contribute to the exchequer with a GVA of £23bn a year – but we have genuineglobal assets that are growing fromstrength-to-strength.”
The report made some moregeneral observations about urban life across the UK: “Good Growth for Cities 2019 shows continued broadimprovements across cities in theUK, driven in particular by falling unemployment rates and increases in new businesses.”
“However, there are also signs that progress has plateaued, particularly among top performing cities in the index.”
“Overall, the ‘price of success’ is becoming more pronounced, and declining scores in owner occupation, transport and housing affordability highlight some of the ongoing challenges faced by UK cities.”