A MAJOR summit is being held in Glasgow today to make the case for more power for UK cities.

Part of the aim of the meeting is to influence politicians ahead of the General Election in May.

The Core Cities UK summit sees the launch of a Charter for Local Freedom which sets out the powers cities, towns and other places will demand from whoever makes up the next UK Government.

The charter is designed to be a 21st century version of the Magna Carta which is 800 years old in June this year.

A new report will set out a roadmap for devolution for cities and their regions which delivers radical and ambitious change to benefit local people and economies.

High profile speakers at the summit include Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities Keith Brown.

City council leader Gordon Matheson said: "I'm proud Glasgow is hosting the Core Cities UK devolution summit.

"A centralising, power-grabbing Scottish Government is as much a barrier to achieving optimal economic growth and tackling inequality as an over-bearing Whitehall.

"All political parties in Scotland should urgently commit to devolving the new Smith Commission powers to Scotland's major cities and communities, starting with Glasgow, which is best placed to benefit.

"Merely transferring powers between one parliament and another does not advance the cities agenda."

Core Cities UK cabinet chairman and leader of Manchester City Council Sir Richard Leese said city devolution was one of the key political issues of the times.

He added: "Our summit is a fantastic chance to find out more about the growing movement to give our cities the freedoms they need and deserve.

"Our cities have made great strides in the last two decades but they could do so much more.

"Between us, we deliver 28% of the combined economic output of England, Wales and Scotland and are home to almost 19 million people."

Philip Blond, director of leading think tank ResPublica, said the UK's major cities were on the cusp of an historic change.

He added: "Only full devolution to Britain's cities, councils and communities can address the vast and growing imbalance between London and the South East and the rest of the UK's cities and regions.

"The Scottish referendum ignited people's desire for change - the only hope for the wholesale transformation of our largest cities is to devolve to them, allowing them once more to grow and compete on a global level."

Core Cities UK consists of Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield.

It was set up as a united local authority voice to promote the role of major cities in driving economic growth and the case for devolution to cities.

As well as Glasgow and Cardiff, it represents England's eight largest city economies outside London.