The UK Government are either negotiating or implementing a city region deal for all of Scotland’s seven great cities and the regions around them. So far we have committed over £1 billion to this landmark programme, and there is more to come. We are currently negotiating with local partners for both the Stirling and Clackmannanshire and Tay cities deals, and we hope to conclude the heads of agreements in the coming months.
The Secretary of State will be aware that a number of the projects associated with the Glasgow region city deal, including two taking place in East Renfrewshire, are over budget and behind schedule. Does he agree that it is vital that we get to work on these projects as soon as possible, so that local communities can benefit?
I do agree with my hon. Friend about raising those issues with the Glasgow city deal. It is not enough just to sign these deals and to promote them; what we need is delivery, and I will look at the specific issues he has raised.
Will my right hon. Friend help to break the deadlock with the devolved Administration and commit to the amount of money that Westminster is willing to put forward in the Stirling and Clackmannanshire deal, so that Clackmannanshire can realise its true ambition?
My hon. Friend has certainly been a strong advocate for Clackmannanshire in this process. I hope to meet the Scottish Government shortly to discuss both this deal and the Tay cities deal, in the hope that the Scottish Government and the UK Government can go forward with local partners in a collaborative way.
Does the Secretary of State share my frustration at the lack of progress on the Ayrshire growth deal? Does he agree that it is time to get on and kick-start the deal for all the people of Ayrshire?
Yes I do.
Further to that question, will the Secretary of State give us a timeline for when the UK Government will agree the Ayrshire growth deal?
The hon. Gentleman’s constant flow of negativity is in marked contrast to the three local authorities that I met recently in Ayrshire, which are very keen to work with the Scottish Government and the UK Government to make the Ayrshire growth deal a reality.