Jake Berry: Our Departments have developed a joint programme of work to better integrate our funding decisions and policies so that we maximise economic growth and deliver an improved transport system for Great Britain.
Jake Berry: The Transforming Cities fund of some £1.7 billion, of which £850 million remains unallocated, is available to all local authorities to bid for to improve intra-city transport. In total, we are investing £13 billion in northern infrastructure in this Parliament—more than any Government in history.
Jake Berry: I am sure that everyone in the House was delighted that in the Budget we agreed a second ambitious devolution deal with Andy Street. While my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State, as the midlands engine champion, is the supercharger for the midlands engine, Andy Street is its turbocharger.
Jake Berry: I have already held discussions with Steve Rotheram, the Labour Mayor of Liverpool, who told me that he supported the toll charges.
Jake Berry: That is a tempting invitation to support a bid to the Transforming Cities fund. That is exactly what the fund is designed to do. When people make good, ground-up, locally supported proposals, the fund, on a competitive basis, should be there to support them.
Jake Berry: I am sure that the left-wing think-tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research, is delighted its figures have been repeated in the Chamber, but they are simply incorrect. They do not include 60% of our national infrastructure spending or the spending on HS2, which I know, as someone who was born and brought up in the north, and who lives and works there, will benefit the north more than...
Jake Berry: Following the launch of our industrial strategy, the Government are in the early stages of designing a devolution framework for England. Areas such as Derbyshire and the east midlands should seek widely supported, ground-up proposals in line with the framework.
Jake Berry: We are of course aware of Derby and Nottingham City Councils’ metro proposals, although we have not received a formal submission to the Government. I can confirm that the door remains open for devolution in this area and that, in line with our manifesto, there is no requirement for rural areas to have a mayor.
Jake Berry: I cannot comment on a live planning issue.
Jake Berry: Local authorities in London have estimated that the business rate retention pilot announced in the Budget will benefit them by £240 million. There will be no impact from the pilot on other local authority areas.
Jake Berry: The £240 million is new money from business rates growth. Let me share with the hon. Lady the startling fact that 100% of the local authorities that will get the business rate localisation pilot applied for it. When she goes back up to her constituency, she might like to ask her own Labour-controlled council why it could not be bothered to do so.
Jake Berry: I noted that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said that this was the worst Budget for London in 10 years. What I know is that, at £1.8 billion, it was the best Budget for the north of England ever.
Jake Berry: Only a Labour council could put up parking charges and lose money at the same time. What that shows to people living in Nuneaton and Bedworth is that, by putting into action the Marxist twaddle we hear from Labour Members, under Labour it is the many who pay for the dogma of the few.
Jake Berry: I would happily meet the hon. Lady to discuss her interesting idea.
Jake Berry: Improving the east-west connectivity between Liverpool and Hull is one of the issues that we have asked Transport for the North, the first sub-national statutory transport body, to report on when it comes forward with its report. I am delighted that in the Budget we have a confirmation of £360 million to ensure that HS2 is futureproofed against HS3.
Jake Berry: As the season of goodwill and peace to all men approaches, I hope that across Yorkshire a compromise will be found. Just to restate our position, the Government remain committed to the south Yorkshire city deal proceeding.
Jake Berry: No correction is required, Mr Speaker. I discussed the matter with the Metro Mayor of Liverpool as we walked across the bridge while it was under construction. Perhaps he will remember with the added detail.
Jake Berry: Refuges provide vital support for victims of domestic abuse. Since 2014 we have invested a total of £33.5 million in services to support victims of domestic abuse, including supporting our refuges.
Jake Berry: The hon. Gentleman raises a very important point. Knowing his experience with the police force, he will understand that this is an extremely complicated area. The Government are absolutely determined to get this right, because it is of vital importance that we do so. There is no question that refuges provide a life-saving role in our community and that is why we are currently consulting on...
Jake Berry: I reassure the hon. Lady that those discussions are already taking place. Ministers in my Department have already met Women’s Aid. I know that it, and other organisations, will be playing an active part in the consultation on the future of funding for women’s refuges. That consultation closes on 23 January and I encourage all organisations, and Members, to take part.