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Edinburgh City Deal

Volume 603: debated on Monday 14 December 2015

We are speaking with Edinburgh and south-east Scotland to look at proposals for a city deal there. It is welcome that so many parts of Scotland are keen to be part of the process of delivering city deals. We must ensure that, when they are agreed, they are agreed in such a way that will drive economic growth, and that is exactly what we are doing.

Despite the obvious wealth that exists in some parts of Edinburgh and south-east Scotland, there are also significant areas of very severe deprivation. Some 21% of children in the proposed city region live in poverty just now. The economy of the area has not been helped over the past few months by Government decisions on renewables. Rather than just talking about this deal, will the Minister tell us what the timescale is, first, for a decision and, secondly, for actual action on it?

The hon. Gentleman makes an important point about the diverse nature of the area about which he talks. We see great potential for growth across Edinburgh and south-east Scotland. We want to ensure that we can realise that potential and deliver that growth. We will continue to have talks, which have been productive and are constructive, with interested parties on the city deal. We will continue to work constructively to deliver that city deal if it can be delivered in the right way. These things must be decided properly and after due consideration. That is the process that is currently under way.