Deal or No Deal? A progress report on City Deals

A progress report on City Deals setting out the major opportunities cities and government must seize to make the process a success.

Report published on 15 March 2012 by Tom Bolton

City Deals have the potential to significantly change the relationship between central and local government.

Following on from our City Deal workshops earlier this year, we’ve drawn together some key lessons from the negotiations process so far. Our briefing note highlights major opportunities that both cities and central government need to seize if the devolution process is reach its full potential.

The City Deals process has moved fast, and both Government and cities have learned a lot in a short time.

The Government now needs to demonstrate that cities are at the heart of its economic growth strategy by devolving substantive powers and funding through the first round of City Deals and quickly opening up City Deals to other cities.  Cities across England need to rise to the occasion by setting out clearly evidenced and very specific proposals about how devolution of specific powers and funding could deliver better outcomes and / or greater efficiency.

While City Deals are not a perfect process, they are the best chance in a generation to rebalance relations with central government and devolve real powers.

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