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29 October 2012, 00:00 | Updated: 29 October 2012, 07:30
Norwich and Ipswich are getting the chance to bid for some new powers to help improve local growthDeputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark will announce today.
As part of the second wave of ‘City Deals’, they are being invited to compete for a Deal that would see Government devolve powers in exchange for responsibility for delivering growth locally.
The first wave saw deals struck with England’s eight largest cities, with final sign off by the Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, and city leaders in July 2012. Today’s announcement is aimed at the next fourteen largest cities and their wider areas and the next six with the highest population growth between 2001 to 2010. They mark the beginning of a step change in the relationship between national and local government and by the end of this Parliament they will have led to local transformation, jobs and most importantly growth.
Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg said:
“In the best English tradition we have witnessed a quiet revolution across the nation’s eight largest cities.
“From control over buses and trains and the freedom to plug skills gaps, to powers to ‘earn back’ tax and set up local investment funds to spend on local projects – the deals are unlocking the huge potential of our cities so they can go for growth.
“Now its time to free even more places from Whitehall control.”
City Deals are a key part of the Government’s objectives of rebalancing the economy and boosting private sector growth. The second wave of City Deals will accelerate the pace of decentralisation and unlock new and innovative ways to drive growth. Deals will represent a genuine bargain between cities and the Government, with ‘asks’ and ‘offers’ from both sides.
Today’s announcement will see the next fourteen largest cities and the next six with the highest population growth given the opportunity to participate in Wave Two. Greater Norwich and Ipswich will be asked to work across its functional economic area to put forward proposals by 15 January 2013.
Minister for Cities Greg Clark said:
“Every British town and city is unique – in its history, strengths, industries and character. For too long governments treated them as if they were all the same, making them conform to a Whitehall template.
“City Deals put Norwich in the driving seat. It can seize the initiative and show what it needs to prosper and grow, even if it’s new and different.”