Nottingham gets new powers: why not Leicester?

5th July, 2012

Reported nationally today is the news that some of England’s biggest cities outside of London are to be given significant extra powers and money, and that Leicester isn’t one of them!

This will be in return for promises to bring down youth unemployment and speed up regeneration and economic growth.

The six “city deals” are for Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham and Sheffield, with deals for Liverpool and Manchester already agreed.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg called them “groundbreaking deals… freeing cities from Whitehall control”.

“Everyone in these eight core cities will feel the benefits – from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand.

“Over the coming months, we are transferring more and more power from Whitehall to these cities.”

At the moment councils running England’s major cities have to lobby central government if they want extra money to invest in a major transport scheme or regeneration project. In Leicester this has so far fallen on stony ground, our modest bid for a new bus station was turned down.

Some people are saying that by scrapping of most of the the regeneration work in the first year Leicester is now in a weak position and has lost out.


The government is not finding new money to hand to cities, but is slicing off chunks of Whitehall departments (like transport), and allowing decisions on how the money is spent to be taken locally rather than in London.

Further ways are being explored to get the private sector more involved in financing big transport or regeneration projects.

These deals are all specific to the individual cities, and the result of negotiations with ministers which began last December. At the time it was hoped that the city deals would come into being alongside a number of powerful new city mayors.

So why with an elelcted mayor has Leicester lost out?

Some serious questions need to be asked.



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