By Ben Huston - 5th July 2012
England’s biggest cities are to get new powers under new plans announced today.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said cities such as Leeds and Bristol will be able to improve worker skills and access to jobs, whilst also supporting local businesses, essential infrastructure and the country’s economy as a whole.
Today’s announcement from Mr Clegg and Cities Minister Greg Clark came after a meeting in December last year, where eight cities were invited to bid for new powers.
"These groundbreaking deals signal a dramatic power shift, freeing cities from Whitehallcontrol," said Mr Clegg.
"Everyone in these eight core cities will feel the benefits - from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand."
In return, the cities must create more accountable local leadership and use city resources responsibly.
Leeds and Sheffield will bring their existing local authorities together so they can make more strategic decisions about how money is spent.
Liverpool and Bristolare to use their newly-elected mayors to improve decision-making.
Newcastle is to create a North East Combined Authority.
Greater Birmingham and Solihull will continue working with the private sector through its Local Enterprise Partnership.
Nottingham has created a new private sector-led governance structure to deliver their City Deal.
"Our major cities have seized the opportunity to take control of their economic destiny and will now reap the benefits of new financial freedoms and investment opportunities available to them," Mr Clark said.
"Now we have concluded the first deals, we will shortly set out next steps for this radical extension of power to other places across the country."
A 'Guarantee for the Young' was also announced, which is intended to give young people greater access to jobs, training and apprenticeships by providing incentive payments to businesses.