Council leaders from Notts and Derbyshire headed to London to negotiate a ‘ground-breaking’ devolution deal for powers that will give residents more influence over economic growth.
The discussion with Whitehall in Westminster, on Tuesday 17th March, saw the council chiefs join business leaders from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to meet with Minister for Cities Greg Clark and discuss how the county can take control of key economic levers like jobs, skills and transport.
The proposed ‘combined authorities’ from the LEP area will be the first two-tier areas to get to this position and, if successful, it could be a model for the future for the rest of the UK.
The D2N2 devolution deal is amongst one of the first in the UK to be negotiated, with a number of other areas also seeking more control over investing the money which is generated through the local area, but which currently goes to Whitehall to be divided up nationally.
Speaking on behalf of all Notts authorities, Coun Jon Collins, leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “This level of ambition shows that the region is pushing to be seen alongside the likes of Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds as a regional powerhouse.”
“It will give greater influence to local people over decisions which have real affect over their lives and prosperity – decisions which are currently taken in London, often by people with little knowledge of the issues facing local residents and businesses.”
If successful, the deal promises to deliver 55,000 new jobs by 2023 and improve the quality and quantity of homes across Notts and Derbyshire – delivering 77,000 affordable new homes by 2020.
Better transport connectivity across the two counties as well as the creation of more apprenticeships are also in the pipeline.
While the D2N2 delegation were in London they also met with Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Secretary of State for communities and local government, to discuss the devolution proposals for the area.