Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Regional Deal

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 6 June 2016.

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Photo of James Wharton James Wharton Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Northern Powerhouse)

Discussions continue positively on a city deal for Edinburgh and south-east Scotland. Officials have had a number of meetings and progress is being made, and Members across the House hope that an agreement can be reached so that something can be delivered that will benefit the hon. Lady’s constituents and our economy as a whole.

Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Scottish Parliament/Scottish Government Liaison), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations)

I have heard that one local authority involved in the Edinburgh city region deal, West Lothian Council, has distanced itself from the development of the deal and now appears to be intending to step away altogether. How will the Minister encourage it back into the ring on that deal?

Photo of James Wharton James Wharton Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Northern Powerhouse)

The processes are by agreement, but we hope that all local authorities look to see the positives in what can be delivered, and the difference that can be made to the local economy, when city deals are agreed. My noble Friend the Under-Secretary at the Scotland Office will meet the leaders of Scottish cities on 8 June. I will draw his attention to the hon. Lady’s comments in the hope that he can bear them in mind and perhaps overcome some of the obstacles.