A bid by Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire for greater powers has been welcomed by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – which will play a key role in the proposed devolution.
D2N2 Chairman Peter Richardson is part of a delegation including Nottingham City Council leader Councillor Jon Collins, Derbyshire County Council leader Councillor Anne Western, and local authority and business figures due to meet today (March 17) in London with Minister for Universities, Science and Cities Greg Clark.
They will open talks on securing devolved powers across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire; the area covered by the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
If successful, the proposal would see hundreds of millions of pounds in public spending around jobs, skills and transport move from central Government to local authority control.
D2N2 Chairman Peter Richardson is part of today’s delegation speaking to the Government about devolution powers for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
The D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership – which works to boost jobs and economic growth across Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire – is closely involved in the devolution negotiations.
D2N2 sees the talks as a crucial step in meeting its area targets of creating 55,000 (mainly private sector) jobs in ten years (by 2023) and promoting the construction of 77,000 affordable homes. It would also be involved with councils in the creation of a £1billion ‘Regional Investment Bank’, giving businesses better access to funds, which forms part of the proposed deal.
The deal will take some time to negotiate, meaning it would need to be signed off by the Government formed after May’s General Election. While in London today the consortium is also due to meet with Labour MP Hilary Benn, who is Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to discuss the devolution proposal.
Any deal would also be conditional on city, county and most borough and district councils forming a ‘combined authority’, one for Nottinghamshire and one for Derbyshire. A combined authority is a statutory body which takes a collective councils’ approach to decisions on transport, regeneration and economic development.
David Ralph, Chief Executive of D2N2, said: “Today’s meeting is the start of the devolution conversation for the whole D2N2 area.
“We are confident that devolved powers will happen for the area, whatever the make-up of the Government after the General Election. These powers will provide key local ‘levers’ to support our underlying ambition to grow our economy.”
Speaking on behalf of all Nottinghamshire authorities, Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council, added: “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.”
On behalf of the Derbyshire authorities involved, Councillor Anne Western, Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “It is important to stress that this is not about reorganisation of local councils, nor is it about us asking for additional funding. It is about making sure that the money that is raised locally, is used and invested based on local rather than national priorities.”
The two new combined authorities which Derby and Derbyshire, and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, are currently working towards are expected to come into effect by the end of this year (2015). It’s thought any new devolved powers held by these two combined authorities are unlikely to be developed until 2017 at the earliest.
For more information on this news article or D2N2’s work contact Sean Kirby, D2N2 Communications Officer, on 0115 9578749 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org