City Deals, an innovative programme of decentralisation of power and resource from Whitehall to England’s biggest cities, has been welcomed by the Core Cities Group, whose eight members are the first in line to sign Deals with Government this week.
These Cities have worked together with the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister for Cities, the Rt Hon Greg Clarke MP and a specialist Cities Unit in Cabinet Office to broker this first wave of deals across Whitehall. The Group see this as the beginning of an on-going process of decentralisation, now enshrined in law through an amendment to the Localism Act, proposed by Core Cities and which achieved cross-party support.
Chris Murray, Director of Core Cities Group said:
“Core Cities’ urban areas already deliver 27% of the national wealth. With additional freedoms we know they can do much more to create jobs, get Britain moving economically, and make us more competitive internationally. The Group has been working for more than 17 years to reverse the process of centralisation of power in England, and we are delighted with this radical step. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Government to unlock more of these cities’ potential for the nation.”
Sir Albert Bore, Leader of Birmingham City Council said:
“City Deal comes at a time when Birmingham and the wider LEP area is enjoying renewed confidence and has, for the first time, all of the building blocks for success in place. We have a strong private and public sector partnership, a strategy for growth and, now, a deal with Government that will give us the powers to rebalance the economy. There is much more to be done, but the City Deal is testament to the strength of the relationship between the public and private sectors and the local authorities involved in the LEP.”
Councillor Simon Cook, Leader of Bristol City Council said:
"The City Deal package represents an historic devolution of powers from Whitehall that we have long argued for. It is very good news that business rates will be back in local hands and that we'll be able to borrow against those revenues to invest in development. For the first time we'll have the ability to drive our own economic strategy and make the much-needed investment in our infrastructure, in particular in our rail system which is in urgent need of more capacity.”
Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council said:
“Today’s announcement is hugely significant for Leeds, for the eleven local authorities that make up the City Region and for the North as a whole. This deal spells the beginning of a fundamental shift in the relationship between Whitehall and the regions. It marks the first steps of a new era which will allow the Core Cities and their partners to truly control their own destiny.”
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson said:
“The City Deal is a huge moment for Liverpool because, for the first time in decades, we are getting the chance for power to be returned to the city from Whitehall. It gives us access to the top tiers of Government with a direct line to Ministers and senior civil servants. This gives an incredible opportunity to focus on activity that will make a real difference to residents and create the right kind of environment for business to flourish, whatever their size.”
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council and vice chair of Greater Manchester Combined Authority, said:
"Greater Manchester has a strong track record of working together towards the greater good and we are confident that our City Deal will be a significant step forward in realising our ambitions and the potential of the region. Our innovative new funding model, enabling us to earn back up to £1 billion of our investment in infrastructure over 30 years, is challenging orthodox thinking and showing the lead role cities can play in driving economic growth."
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council said:
“Today’s announcement is magnificent news for Newcastle and the wider region. Our top priority has always been to make Newcastle a working city - and the creation of up to 13,000 jobs will go a long way to achieving that. As well as creating jobs, this City Deal is good news on a number of other fronts. It will establish the city as a low carbon economy; deliver up to 15,000 homes on brownfield sites, reduce congestion on the A1 Western Bypass, and create 500 new apprenticeships in three years."
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council said:
“Key to the City Deal is Nottingham’s new Creative Quarter. This is a significant step forward and a bold statement that Nottingham is prepared to think differently to effect change. This Deal provides a platform for the next generation of Nottingham entrepreneurs to carve out their future, create opportunity and jobs, and lead Nottingham to an exciting new future. Through our Growth Plan we will help Nottingham become, once more, a city that designs and makes things."
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council said:
“These city deals recognise the crucial role that England’s Core Cities have in creating a stronger national economy. The deals contain proposals which finally start to give cities the tools they need to help economies grow and create jobs.”
“Last year in Sheffield, there were seven engineering jobs for every one young person that trained for an engineering qualification. The City Deal will mean that local business leaders and local partners, who best understand the needs of the local economy, will decide how over £20 million of Government skills funding should be invested.”
“We hope the deals are the start of a new, stronger relationship between all Core Cities and Government based on trust, strong local leadership and a shared ambition to create a successful UK economy with empowered, thriving cities.”
Core Cities will continue to work with Government to promote the role of these cities in driving the economy, supporting the implementation of Deals and demonstrating what is required to drive future growth for the long term.
Read the full contents of all the 'City Deals' here:
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Director, Core Cities