Labour leader Ed Miliband’s announcement today that he would devolve spending powers to English cities is the real deal for Cambridge says Cambridge Labour Parliamentary Candidate Daniel Zeichner. In a speech in Birmingham today, he will set out the interim conclusions of Andrew Adonis’s Growth Review recommending the end of a century of centralisation by at least doubling the level of devolved funding - handing control of the equivalent of more than £20 billion to City and County Regions over the course of a Parliament.
Those regions that meet strict tests established by the Adonis Review, will be given new powers over transport and housing infrastructure funding, as well as for the Work Programme and skills. Andrew Adonis visited Cambridge in the autumn as part of his research, visiting local firms and speaking to entrepreneurs at Cambridge Network.
Mr Zeichner says that Cambridge must seize the opportunity: “Business leaders have been crying out for the opportunity now on offer from Ed Miliband. It will be up to our local authorities to work with businesses to respond positively and take advantage. Cambridge and the area around us should be a major driver of recovery and growth, but for too long we have lacked the access to investment needed to fulfil the real potential. The coalition bottled out of the radical suggestions made by Michael Hesletine in his review last year – Labour and Andrew Adonis have picked them up. Now we need to make sure that this opportunity isn’t missed.”