Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Finance and Government Business
Supporting greater investment in infrastructure and bolstering the economic recovery in Wales is a priority for the Welsh Government. It is in line with this that I have been discussing prospects for a City Deal for Wales with local authorities and the UK Government over a sustained period and I was pleased that the Chancellor announced in March that the UK Government would open negotiations on a City Deal for Cardiff and the surrounding region.
Building on my early engagement with Cardiff City Council, discussions have been on-going to develop the proposal further. Central to the successful delivery of a future City Deal will be close collaboration and partnership between all of the South East Wales local authorities and I welcome today’s news that the ten Authorities have formally agreed to join forces to help deliver a City Deal for the Capital City Region. This is an important milestone in our ambitions for a City Deal for Wales and work can now begin in earnest on exploring and developing a potential detailed business case.
Over the Summer, I am meeting the Scottish Government Finance and Infrastructure Ministers to ascertain the terms of the proposed City Deals in Aberdeen and Inverness as well as taking stock of the Glasgow Deal which was agreed last year. In early September I will be meeting Lord O’Neill, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, to discuss infrastructure investment, including proposals for the City Deal. I will also be seeking clarification from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of State for Wales on the expectations around a timeline for a proposal.
I will update Members on progress in the Autumn.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.