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MP calls for Cumbria to be first ever 'County Deal'

September 19, 2013 5:08 PM

TF KendalSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has today called for the government to look at making Cumbria the first 'county deal'. The plan is based on the city deals offered to major conurbations in the UK.

City Deals are agreements between government and a city that give the city/area control to:

  • take charge and responsibility of decisions that affect their area
  • do what they think is best to help businesses grow
  • create economic growth
  • decide how public money should be spent

The first wave of City Deals are with the 8 largest cities outside of London, known as the Core Cities. City Deals - Wave 2 involves 20 cities - the next 14 largest cities outside of London and their wider areas and the 6 cities with the highest population growth during 2001 to 2010. Tim would like Cumbria to be next area to get these powers.

In the North West, Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire have applied jointly for a deal. It will allow Preston, South Ribble and Lancashire to take forward four new road schemes, enabling over 17,000 new homes to be built, freeing up land for new development, and creating more than 20,000 jobs.

To secure a deal with government, each area has to show in its proposals for growth that it:

  • can prove how it will take greater responsibility and leadership with decisions affecting its local economy
  • will use the advice, expertise, and resources of the private sector
  • is dedicated and ready to put resources into the deal
  • has plans for using public money wisely
  • can improve its area by following the government's strategy of lowering regulation, boosting private sector growth, and making it easier for businesses to grow

Tim said: "The government says it is committed to helping grow local economies. I have asked them to look if we can give powers back to local councils and support job creation. From Carlisle to Kendal and Barrow to Penrith, I know that if we are able to make this bid it will help to unlock millions of pounds and bring major decisions back from Whitehall into local communities. I would like all the districts and the county council to bid for these powers and funds and help unlock our economic potential."