Conservative Group Leader on Brighton & Hove City Council – Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald – has strongly welcomed the news that Brighton & Hove is to become one of a new wave of areas to benefit from the Government’s City Deal initiative.
Under the City Deal scheme, certain powers, such as the ability to set and spend budgets, are devolved from central government to local councils in order to boost economic growth. A recent review by former Cabinet Minister – Lord Heseltine – identified Ł58 billion of Government funding for growth that could be better used if localities made the investment decisions rather than civil servants in Whitehall.
Cllr. Theobald has been joined in recent weeks by local Conservative MPs Mike Weatherley and Simon Kirby in strongly lobbying Government Ministers, putting forward Brighton & Hove’s case to be included in the City Deal programme.
Cllr. Theobald said: “The importance of this news for the future of our city cannot be overstated. In my letter to Government ministers I emphasized that, after London and Bristol, Brighton & Hove is the biggest city in the south of England and, with a population of 273,400, is only 8,000 smaller than Newcastle and Nottingham. We have the highest rate of business start-ups in the country outside of London plus one the most highly qualified workforces in the country. In short, Brighton & Hove is fertile economic ground – our potential is huge and I am confident that a City Deal will help to unlock that.”