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Southend given opportunity to bid for new powers
SOUTHEND will be given the chance to bid for new powers to boost growth, Nick Clegg will announce today.
The town is being invited to compete for a “City Deal” which will see the Government devolve powers in exchange for responsibility for delivering growth locally.
England’s eight largest cities have already signed up to the scheme which will see local people given more control over buses and trains as well as the power to set up local investment funds to raise cash for projects.
Today’s announcement will see the 14 largest cities and six with the highest population growth given the opportunity to participate in wave two of the initiative. Southend will be asked to put forward proposals by January 15, 2013.
Nigel Holdcroft, leader of Southend Council, said: "We are delighted that Southend has been approached. We regard this as an excellent opportunity to provide better value for money and more focused delivery for our residents and will be pursuing it enthusiastically.”
“City Deals” are a key part of the Government’s objectives to rebalance the economy and boost private sector growth.
Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg said: “I want Southend to come up with ambitious and innovative proposals to help them make changes that will be felt by everyone across their region.
“In the best English tradition we have witnessed a quiet revolution across the nation’s eight largest cities.
“Now its time to free even more places from Whitehall control.”