My colleague the noble Lord Duncan met with partners recently at the Forth Valley College, and I have met Cabinet Secretary Keith Brown to discuss the Scottish contribution to the deal. I hope to meet Mr Brown again shortly.
It sometimes feels that the Stirling and Clackmannanshire city deal is taking longer to deliver than a baby elephant at Blair Drummond safari park. When does the Secretary of State expect to sign a heads of agreement with the Scottish Government and the local authorities? What discussions has he had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the future use of the Ministry of Defence site at Forthside in the city deal? [Interruption.]
Order. I want to hear the answer, to hear whether the Secretary of State is widening it beyond Stirling and Clackmannanshire or not.
We hope to sign that deal soon. The Ministry of Defence intends to dispose of Forthside by 2020, under the better defence estate strategy. We are working with the MOD to look at how the site can be part of that city deal.
I will give the hon. Gentleman the benefit of the doubt, but he must not shoehorn his own constituency into the matter. Let’s hear it.
The Stirling and Clackmannanshire city region deal does indeed include the transfer of MOD land at Forthside, and the decontamination of that land, to Stirling Council. I understand that that is no longer going to happen. Can the Secretary of State tell us whether it will happen and when will it happen, or is it yet another broken Tory promise?
How disappointing to allow that negative note into proceedings on city deals. City deals have worked because they have been a positive collaboration between the UK Government, Scottish Government, local authorities and partners, and it is exactly that sort of negativity and politicking that undermines the whole process.
It may be negative, but at least it was definitely orderly.