08/12/11

Today, the Deputy Prime Minister announced a new ‘city deals’ initiative, which aims to shift the power from Whitehall to core cities across the UK.

Commenting, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:

“For many years, business has said that too many decisions are made in Whitehall, and are often taken without real knowledge or understanding of local business conditions. Those at the heart of their communities, such as local councils and companies, are best placed to make the decisions that will affect their local areas for years to come.

“Many local firms will welcome the 'city deals' announcement which will benefit England's largest urban areas. But business must be at the centre of any decision-making processes. Provided there is appropriate business input, and local control of transport and training, there is the potential to create a better environment for private-sector growth.  

“However, we will be watching closely to ensure that the 'city deals' complement, rather than detract, from the work being carried out by business and councils via Local Enterprise Partnerships. This initiative must not simply be government rhetoric, but real actions that will help to boost growth in our regions."

Ends

Notes to editors:

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people.

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk