It’s de­ci­sion time for those in charge of mak­ing City Deals come up with jobs

Ef­fec­tive gov­er­nance is cru­cial if they are to work to their full po­ten­tial, writes Rory Alexan­der

The Scotsman - - Future Scotland -­

City Deals have been de­signed to pro­mote eco­nomic growth for the ben­e­fit of en­tire re­gions around the coun­try.

Th­ese be­spoke pack­ages of fund­ing de­cen­tralise power and al­low for a ma­jor shift in de­ci­sion-mak­ing, dis­tribut­ing pow­ers to lo­cal lead­ers and busi­nesses to drive growth.

In July, the sec­re­tary of state for Scot­land an­nounced that an agree­ment had been reached between the UK and Scot­tish Gov­ern­ments on the terms of the Ed­in­burgh and South East Scot­land City Deal.

It will in­clude six lo­cal author­ity ar­eas, based on a joint UK and Scot­tish Govern­ment in­vest­ment of £600 mil­lion and a £500 mil­lion in­vest­ment from re­gional part­ners over a pe­riod of 15 years, with the aim of cre­at­ing 21,000 jobs.

With many par­ties in­volved there is a clear need for ef­fec­tive lead­er­ship and gov­er­nance in or­der to im­ple­ment th­ese deals ef­fec­tively. This shift in de­ci­sion-mak­ing pow­ers comes with its own gov­er­nance and le­gal is­sues.

Coun­cils are recog­nis­ing that a stream­lined gov­er­nance struc­ture is needed to max­imise lo­cal growth, with some es­tab­lish­ing a cabi­net sys­tem. The Glas­gow and Clyde Val­ley cabi­net acts as the ul­ti­mate de­ci­sion-mak­ing body in the gov­er­nance struc­ture.

The mem­bers of th­ese cab­i­nets are the lead­ers of the par­tic­i­pat­ing lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and op­er­ate on a one mem­ber, one vote ba­sis.

Lead­er­ship will be im­por­tant with the need to put vested in­ter­ests to one side to en­sure that de­ci­sions are taken in the best in­ter­ests of the re­gion to ful­fil its po­ten­tial.

In Scot­land, ef­fec­tive gov­er­nance and lead­er­ship of City Deals will lead to, firstly, im­proved joint work­ing between lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, the UK Govern­ment and the Scot­tish Govern­ment.

Se­condly, it will see ro­bust frame­works put in place to en­sure that all par­ties are meet­ing their obli­ga­tions, as well as ef­fec­tive over­sight of the de­liv­ery of projects on time and on bud­get.

This will sup­port the Scot­tish Govern­ment’s am­bi­tion for vis­i­ble and ac­count­able lead­er­ship, with res­i­dents able to iden­tify who is tak­ing lo­cal de­ci­sions in line with the over­all in­clu­sion agenda. Rory Alexan­der is lo­cal govern­ment lead at Mor­ton Fraser.

0 Rory Alexan­der of Mor­ton Fraser

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