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.
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?
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.
Order. Edinburgh and south-east Scotland are a very long way from Hove. Notwithstanding the hon. Gentleman’s considerable ingenuity, I find it hard to see how he can relate this to Hove. He should be patient and have another go on another question. Keep waiting, man, and keep in good spirits. We will get you in somehow.