City Deal bid is up and running
MOVES to devolve more Whitehall decision-making powers to Hull have been confirmed by the Government.
The region's City Deal bid has cleared its first hurdle by securing initial ministerial approval.
The region is one of 20 to be offered the chance to use new financial and planning powers under the City Deal programme.
They will follow eight city-regions awarded the same status last year.
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The focus in the Hull and Humber region will be on skills funding and the planning process linked to issues involving the estuary.
Both are being seen as crucial to attracting investment from the renewable energy sector.
Announcing the latest City Deals, Deputy Prime MInister Nick Clegg said: "Letting go of power and money doesn't come naturally to Whitehall. Over time, the economic importance of other parts of the country has been devastatingly downplayed, as the economic elite have narrowed the debate towards a London-centric view.
"Rather than let our industries and communities wither, we need to free up cities outside of London that have their own unique selling points."
Cities Minister Greg Clark, who visited Hull last month, said: "City Deals are a quiet revolution in the way Britain is governed.
"Rather than London laying down the law, cities have the right to do things their way. "The stories of their own futures will be as individual as their unique histories.
"There has been enormous demand by other cities to be part of the action.
"Today's invitation gives 20 more cities the chance to be part of this revolution."
The initial approval means the Government will now enter detailed negotiations with each city-region to confirm the transfer of powers.
A board featuring the leaders of the four councils around the estuary and representatives from the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership is expected to be set up to oversee City Deal programme.
Hull's time has come – senior city council officer Mark Jones. See page 22.