Lord Heseltine launched his major report on growth today and chose the historic Birmingham Town Hall for the event.
The report evokes the heritage of Birmingham Mayor Joseph Chamberlain and calls on government to pass control of £49bn of public investment to cities and other local areas.
Responding to the report Leader of Birmingham City Council, Sir Albert Bore said:
“I very much welcome Lord Heseltine’s report, his passionate commitment to localism and his recognition of the importance of Birmingham. Amongst the many proposals in the report, by far the most important is the creation of a single funding pot for economic development, infrastructure investment and skills which would be devolved to local areas. This echoes our own call for a more localist approach and the proposals we recently put to the Prime Minister. Giving the cities control of that range and scale of resources would enable us to drive growth and job creation more effectively than ever before.
“Lord Heseltine is right to call for a bolder approach to localism and for the restoration of the powers of our great cities. The current centralised approach will never unlock the investment and the enterprise we need to get growth moving across the country.
“This is an extremely wide ranging and comprehensive report and naturally we will not support all of its proposals in detail. But by being characteristically bold Lord Heseltine has made a valuable contribution to a debate we have been leading with the other cities. It is vital that the Government and the other political parties now give it the positive response it deserves.
“I am clear that Birmingham must work closely with all our neighbours in the city region to grasp the opportunities of a more localist approach. We have developed a positive working relationship with government on these matters and the city deal we signed earlier in the year represents a good first step on this road. Tomorrow I am meeting with Lord Heseltine and Cities Minister Greg Clark to discuss the way forward – I am wasting no time in seeing how we can work together to make localism a reality”.
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