date: 29 October 2012
embargo: for immediate release
More regional influence to infrastructure is welcome but only a drop in the ocean
Following a Government announcement today, twenty cities and regions now have the opportunity to bid for increased powers over strategic planning decisions and transport budgets, with the right to spend tax revenues collected by companies based in their area. This second round of bidding follows the success of the eight cities (including Newcastle) in Wave One. However, the Deputy Prime Minister warns that with the increased autonomy, comes the caveat that the successful councils can no longer rely on government handouts for major infrastructure projects which were previously paid for by large tax receipts collected within the Square Mile.
Kevin Rowan, Regional of Secretary of the Northern TUC said:
'These changes to how infrastructure programmes are prioritised and resourced, giving more influence to localities and regions is welcome. But to say central government has no role to play wilfully ignores the spatially prejudiced way in which spending on these areas has been carried out in the past.
'We know that infrastructure budgets in London, for example, are two hundred times higher - per capita - than the resource allocations for the north east.
'If the government was genuinely serious about rebalancing the economy in a positive way it would turn that investment around and allocate a much, much larger share of the transport budget to this region instead of seeking to abdicate any responsibility for regional economic progress.'
The 20 towns, cities and regions which will be allowed to bid to take part in the scheme are the Black Country; Bournemouth; Brighton and Hove; Cambridge; Coventry and Warwickshire; Hull and Humber; Ipswich; Leicester and Leicestershire; Milton Keynes; Norwich; Oxford; Reading; Plymouth; Preston and Lancashire; Southampton and Portsmouth; Southend; Stoke and Staffordshire; Sunderland and the North East; Swindon and Wiltshire; and Tees Valley.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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Kevin Rowan, Regional Secretary T: 0191 232 3175 M: 07766250074 E: email@example.com
Neil Foster, Policy and Campaigns Officer, Northern TUC T: 0191 227 5554;
Press release (400 words) issued 29 Oct 2012
This page http://www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-21574-f0.cfm
printed 21 May 2013 at 19:25 hrs by 18.104.22.168