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
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