News - 10 December 2013

The East Midlands unites to press the case for investment

Council Leaders, MPs and representatives from Local Enterprise Partnerships across the East Midlands will come together in Westminster later today, to press the case for investment to both Ministers and Shadow Ministers. 

Today’s event is a joint initiative by East Midlands Councils, the East Midlands All Party Parliamentary Group and a number of Local Enterprise Partnerships including D2N2 and the Greater Lincolnshire LEP. 

The event will be chaired by Cllr Paul Bayliss, East Midlands Councils Executive Board Member and Leader of Derby City Council, and feature presentations from:                         

  • Cllr Jon Collins, Chair of East Midlands Councils and Leader of Nottingham City Council; 
  • Jon Ashworth MP (Leicester South), Co-chair of the East Midlands APPG 
  • Peter Richardson, Chair of D2N2; and 
  • Cllr Colin Davie, Board Member, Greater Lincolnshire LEP

Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, Minister for Local Growth and Toby Perkins, Shadow Small Business Minister will comment on behalf of the Government and the Opposition respectively. 

A new joint document will also be launched setting out the potential for the East Midlands to deliver higher levels of growth in the national interest. Key opportunities include:                         

  • the highest level of manufacturing employment in England with a competitive advantage in transport engineering, construction and food & drink and world class companies including Rolls Royce, Siemens and Carlsberg;
  • council led plans for 400,000 new homes over the next 20 years; and 
  • an attractive mix of urban and rural environments with access to outstanding landscapes such as the Peak District National Park. 

However, the East Midlands has struggled to attract the level of national investment needed to fully un-lock this potential, with the second lowest level of transport spending in England and low levels of support for new affordable housing. 

Peter Richardson said: “Working strategically with Councils and MPs will help D2N2 to boost jobs in key sectors such as high-value manufacturing. Today’s event demonstrates the potential of what we can achieve together.” 

Cllr Jon Collins said: “The East Midlands has great potential, but we could deliver so much more with the right level of investment. I am very keen to work with our LEPs and MPs on a cross-party basis to put this right.” 

Chris Heaton-Harris MP (Daventry) said: “Transport is a key concern of the All Party Group. Recent announcements on the A14 have been positive, but we have more to do on roads such as the A5 where there has been long standing under-investment.” 

Jon Ashworth MP (Leicester South) said: “The Midland Main Line campaign showed what we can achieve when we all work together – the benefits to Leicester alone will be huge. I want to extend this approach to other issues and boost the profile of the East Midlands at Westminster.” 

Cllr Colin Davie said: “Food and flood defences are both key issues for Lincolnshire and the case for increasing investment can only be strengthened by working with councils, MPs and LEPs from across the East Midlands.”

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