Speaking in a debate on City Region Deals in the Scottish Parliament today, North East MSP Mike Rumbles called on the Scottish Government to focus on delivering new long-term investment that will benefit everyone in the North East and to take this opportunity to strengthen local decision making.
The Aberdeen City Region Deal is valued at around £826.2 million, over a ten year period. Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council and Opportunity North East agreed a City Region Deal with the UK and Scottish Governments, in November 2016.
The City Deal process was first introduced in 2012 by Liberal Democrats in the UK Government and is ‘designed to encouraging local economic growth and the movement of economic decision-making away from central government’.
Mr Rumbles said: “The City Region Deal for Aberdeen is an opportunity for both the Scottish and UK governments to work together, alongside local authorities and industry, to develop a long term strategic plan for growth in our city and rural communities.
“The progress so far, however, leaves much to be desired. Instead of building transparency into the process, engaging directly with communities and strengthening our local institutions the Scottish Government has quietly pushed that aspiration to one side.
“Investment must deliver for regions as a whole, not only for city hubs and the City Region Deals must not become simple mechanisms for delivering existing projects that are already in the pipeline. It is no good robbing Peter to pay Paul!
“I am delighted that the grade separated junction on the A90 at Laurencekirk, for example, is in the Deal and is now in the early stages of development. But it should not have taken the Scottish Government 14 years to deliver this project.”
Notes for editors:
- Please see Mr Rumbles speech attached and check against delivery at: https://www.scottishparliament.tv/
- View the City Region Deal agreement at: https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/media/19557/2016-aberdeen-city-region-deal-agreement-signed.pdf