Cities are to be given greater powers and freedoms in order to promote economic growth, the Deputy Prime Minister has announced.
Cities are being offered a menu of transformative new powers which the Government wants to explore as the basis of a series of bespoke ‘City Deals’. The first wave of deals will be with the Core Cities and their surrounding Local Enterprise Partnerships, with others to follow.
Whilst recognising Core Cities’ role as the engines of growth, the announcement also recognises their potential to achieve further growth if given the right tools. The announcement follows an amendment to the Localism Bill, that Core Cities moved, which opened the route to greater devolution.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, said:
“We need our cities to be economic, social and cultural magnets – places people aspire to live. Firstly, cities will have greater freedom to invest in growth. Secondly, having power over transport, housing, broadband. Finally, the power to boost skills and jobs.
“Our cities have been straining at Whitehall’s leash. They now have a once in a generation opportunity. I urge them to seize it and make it count.”
Cities Minister, Greg Clark, said:
"City deals are a bold and ambitious new idea to put cities back in charge of their own economic destiny and to seize the opportunities for growth. They represent a fundamental shift in the way Whitehall works, the presumption being that powers should be handed down wherever cities make a convincing case."
Chris Murray, Director of Core Cities commented:
“The release of this document is a landmark in the process of devolution of real powers and resources to cities. In conjunction with the Core Cities amendment to the Localism Bill, it signals a strong commitment to enable cities to unleash more of their potential, contributing to macroeconomic growth. A lot of people have put in a lot of effort to get to this point, but seizing the opportunity will require a completely different way of working, both in cities and across the whole of Government, in partnership with the private sector.”
For further information on the City Deal, the full document can be read here: http://www.dpm.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/resource-library/unlocking-growth-cities