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City Council Leader welcomes progress of City Deal bid

February 19, 2013 9:54 AM

Cambridge City Council Leader, Tim Bick has welcomed the news that Greater Cambridge's City Deal bid has taken an important step forward.

The news came after Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg reinforced the government's commitment to giving cities across the country radical new powers to boost economic growth and made the announcement in a speech at the Mansion House yesterday evening (Monday, February 18).

It means that Cambridge and South Cambridgeshire, together with Cambridgeshire County Council, will be able to bid to retain more tax revenues locally as our economy grows. And it acknowledges the importance of the area's economic strengths and its pivotal position in helping to drive forward the UK economy.

Cllr Bick said: "This is great news for our area and for the prospect of tackling the infrastructure deficit in and around the city. And it's a tribute to the work that has been going at all levels so far. There are of course plenty of hurdles to cross before we finally get there.

"We three local councils need to be able to agree a structure for running a Greater Cambridge City Deal which respects both the need for sensible strategic leadership and democratic legitimacy within the area. With that we stand the best chance of persuading the government to go the whole way and grant powers and funding that will truly make a difference. "

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert said: "This is the news we have been waiting for. The City Deal will give us the power locally to make decisions on what is good for Cambridge and the area generally without interference from Whitehall. For far too long we have been subjected to decisions about our city being made remotely by government with little or no input from the people who are living here and know it best.

"The lack of government funding to improve our infrastructure has been a serious stumbling block to Cambridge's growth. For a city which is one of the strongest economically in the UK, the funding has been woefully inadequate.

"Now we have the chance to change that. A City Deal will encourage businesses to relocate here, help those already here to thrive and create new jobs. This is excellent news for the Cambridge area."