Local campaigner Ann Holtom has given strong support to the new 'City Deal' for Greater Birmingham and Solihull introduced by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg. The agreement means that local areas will get new powers to create jobs, close skills gaps and attract private investment. Local councils like Birmingham, working within their regions, will be able to take advantage of the new devolved powers to tailor economic and social solutions to their local needs.
According to estimates made by the core cities in the programme, the first wave of deals will create 175,000 jobs over the next 20 years and 37,000 new apprenticeships. If achieved, this is a significant contribution to our economy - one that will create real opportunities for real people across the country.
Commenting on behalf of Sutton Coldfield and Erdington Liberal Democrats, Ann Holtom said: "I very much welcome the news that the 'City Deal' is coming to Birmingham. As Solihull Lib Dem MP, Lorely Burt, has pointed out, for years we have had central government telling local authorities how to run their local economies. This deal means these powers are going into the hands of local people to decide how best to deal with issues like youth unemployment and local job creation. I am pleased that Liberal Democrats in government have been part of introducing this liberal tradition of localism for our area. Now we have to wait and see if Birmingham's Labour administration is capable of rising to the challenge."