Today (March 25th 2015) has been declared Devo Day in Nottingham when awareness of how devolution can benefit the city will be raised.

Devolving powers from Whitehall to local agencies will give local people and local businesses more influence over the things that make our economy grow and local lives better.

A consortium of representatives from the two proposed Combined Authorities of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area, together with prominent business figures from the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area, recently met Greg Clark, Minister for Cities and Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to discuss how Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire can take control of some of the key economic levers – jobs, skills and transport.

The proposed Combined Authorities will be the first two-tier areas to get to this position and, if successful, it could be a model for the future for the rest of the UK.

Today, City Council Leader Jon Collins is outlining to local business leaders how devolution could benefit them and the local economy. Cllr Collins has also briefly outlined the key merits of devolution in the short video above. He is also due to take part in a Q&A session on Twitter from 6pm-7pm today using the hashtag #NottmDEVO.

Businesses, who have also worked alongside the councils in developing the vision, want to see more money coming to the area for improved road and rail links, better joined-up transport systems, more affordable housing and faster and more widespread broadband connectivity.

If successful, this deal would deliver:

• 55,000 new jobs by 2023
• Improving the quality and quantity of homes across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire – delivering 77,000 affordable new homes by 2020
• £1bn Regional Investment Bank to help businesses better access to funds through a D2N2 investment business bank
• Better connected towns and cities through the creation of two combined transport authorities covering Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire
• Improve frequencies, 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
• Better exploiting the potential of East Midlands Airport – the second busiest freight terminal in the country after Heathrow to increase international trade and passenger transport
• In addition to the creation of 55,000 new jobs, more and better quality apprenticeships will be created. In doing this, more power will be available to tackle the root causes of long term unemployment, and to further reduce the rates of young people not in education or employment
• Greater control over the further education offer to ensuring that 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.
• Speeding up the 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
• A localised, smarter energy strategy that is more sustainable and greener. This will include looking at both how to reduce energy usage and improve the production of energy by working with the Universities to look at the latest technologies.