May 18 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
WESTMINSTER is poised to hand new powers and money to Ipswich after deputy prime minister Nick Clegg ordered Whitehall officials to cut a deal with the city.
Under the Government’s “City Deals” scheme ministers promised to pass local authorities powers, along with budgets that come with them, that previously were only wielded from Westminster.
To get a deal cities would have to show they could use those powers to substantially fire economic growth; Ipswich proposed a plan to introduce new measures to improve skills and boost youth employment.
Mr Clegg said: “Each deal is different, depending on the needs of the specific city or region, but the principle is always the same; central government hands over a set of freedoms.
“For Ipswich, that means equipping people and businesses with the skills they need to take advantage of significant expansion through the developments of Sizewell and Felixstowe.”
Up to now only the eight largest cities outside London have been granted a City Deal. Birmingham’s saw the city take £20m for a new life sciences centre, meanwhile the area’s councils took control of a £1.5bn investment fund.
Ipswich’s bid is being put together by a partnership of Suffolk councils and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. As well as improving skills provision, their plan would see a scheme put in place guaranteeing all 16-to-24 year olds a job or training.
Negotiations on exactly which parts of the proposal will be approved and how it will all work could now last a matter of months.
City council leader David Ellesmere said: “This is very good news for Ipswich.”