The “size of the prize” of devolution for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire has been set out publicly in detail for the first time, as the region’s draft deal is published today (Tuesday 5 January 2016).
The deal document, which sets out the final negotiating position of the Council and business leaders behind the bid, was sent to Chancellor George Osborne and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark just before Christmas.
It was accompanied by a strong message to Ministers that “now is the time to do the deal”.
The agreement, as it stands, has been developed following months of negotiations. The majority of the deal has broad agreement, with only a small number of issues now requiring final discussion and sign off.
The deal sets out ten key benefits devolution would deliver for the residents and businesses of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire:
- 55,000 new private sector jobs
- 77,000 extra homes
- An Investment Fund over 30 years to provide infrastructure such as roads and bridges
- Adult skills provision that better meets the needs of businesses
- A joint transport fund to spend on key transport improvements
- A better co-ordinated public transport system with ‘Oyster’ style smart ticketing
- More responsive and co-ordinated business support for growth
- The creation of substantially more apprenticeship opportunities
- More people entering employment through better targeted local programmes
- Journey times to London of less than 90 minutes by train
19 councils across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire together with business leaders from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership which covers the two counties, are seeking to create a single Combined Authority for the region by March 2016 – the first of its kind featuring district, borough, city and county councils.
The Combined Authority and a new Mayor, elected by the people of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, would be granted powers and resources currently held in London and gain responsibility for delivering a raft of new measures to boost economic growth, create jobs, build new homes and improve the quality of life for people living in the area.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “It’s vital that the public, businesses and other stakeholders have a clear idea about the size of the prize on offer for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire under devolution and back the bid and its benefits for local people. So we’ve taken the decision to publish the draft agreement.
“Following a request from Government, we have renamed our bid as North Midlands, which more accurately reflects the geographical area covered and will be able to align with the same name for the Combined Authority.
“The talks between Government and the North Midlands devolution deal team have been extremely positive throughout, with both sides clearly committed to an agreement. But now is the time to seal the deal.”
Councillor Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, added: “We have excellent proposals on the table, the majority of which have already been agreed, which offer a once in a generation opportunity to secure the jobs, growth, new homes and better quality of life we all crave for our communities.
“The benefits to the local economy and local people are clear – we just await the green light from the Chancellor.”
The East Midlands devolution bid includes all 19 local authorities in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire: Amber Valley Borough Council, Ashfield District Council, Bassetlaw District Council, Bolsover District Council, Broxtowe Borough Council, Chesterfield Borough Council, Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Derbyshire Dales District Council, Erewash Borough Council, Gedling Borough Council, High Peak Borough Council, Mansfield District Council, Newark and Sherwood District Council, North East Derbyshire District Council, Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Rushcliffe Borough Council and South Derbyshire District Council.
D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (promoting economic growth in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire) is a partner in the bid.
What could the Devo Deal deliver, if successful?
• 55,000 new jobs by 2023
• Improved quality and quantity of homes across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire – delivering 77,000 affordable new homes
• Better connected towns and cities through the creation of combined transport authorities covering Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire
• Improved frequency, integration and joint ticketing arrangements on public transport through London-style powers, as well as directly influencing improvements to motorways and major trunk roads in the area
• Increased potential for East Midlands Airport, the second busiest freight terminal in the country after Heathrow, to increase international trade and passenger transport
• More and better quality apprenticeships, tackling the root causes of long-term unemployment, and further reduce rates of young people not in education or employment
• Greater control over further education to ensure all local learners and employers have access to the right, high-quality further education offer, matching the skills of citizens with those demanded by the employer.
• Speeded up planning process and making it more flexible to respond to the different needs of the local areas
• A smart infrastructure that future-proofs growth and prosperity with universal access to 4G and beyond, removing the digital divide facing those in vulnerable and rural communities