Promoting economic development with Dundee in the lead role
30 November 2013
I have asked the Chief Executive for his assistance to bring forward proposals to Council in the hope that Dundee City Council to take the lead role to promote and establish the same approach to economic development as that which has been taken by the 8 Authorities that make up the Clyde Valley Community Planning Partnership.
They have agreed along with their neighbouring authorities and partners to collaborate in the design of an economically focussed infrastructure fund.
The intention is to create a fund which is of sufficient scale to make a real impact on the economy of the region and to negotiate a “payment by results” relationship with both UK and Scottish Governments which will create a future income stream for the fund, allow it to undertake future rounds of investment.
The Clyde Valley Authorities are far further advanced having engaged specialist assistance.
The UK Government made developing powers to Cities the key strand of urban policy.
The overall responsibility for cities lies with the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg and there is also a dedicated Minister for Cities, Greg Clark.
The UK Government website notes that “cities and their surrounding areas are home to 74% of our population and 78% of our jobs, making them important to the long-term growth and economic success of England.
"The country needs more business and employment opportunities to grow the economy.
"We believe that transferring powers from government to cities will make it easier for cities to achieve economic growth.
"In order to legislate for this, the Localism Act 2011 introduced the Core Cities Amendment.
"This allows local councils to make the case for being given new powers to promote economic growth and set their own distinct policies. The main way this is being delivered is through City Deals."
I know that City Deals has been predominantly promoted by the Westminster Government.
However, in Scotland, we cannot just stand back and see any economic opportunity simply drift by us.