Tory MP calls for new city region ‘straddling the border between England and Wales’
A Welsh Conservative MP has called for a new city region “straddling the border between England and north Wales”.
David Jones said that the Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart, should work with the Welsh Government to bring the project to fruition.
He referred to a 2012 report by Dr Elizabeth Haywood, City-regions, which suggested that city regions be created in the south east of Wales and Swansea Bay and that the existing Mersey Dee Alliance be strengthened in the north east of Wales.
He said that he had recently met with UK Government Minister Neil O’Brien, the Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up, to discuss how such a cross-border city region might be pursued.
“I strongly urge my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to work with colleagues in the Welsh Government to reassess that report and to work to create that city region, with a formalised role for the Mersey Dee Alliance, to produce coordinated policies for the whole region,” he said.
“I think the proposal has widespread support in north Wales and north-west England, and it would do a great deal to improve still further the economic potential of what is already one of the most important industrial areas of the country.”
Clwyd South MP Simon Baynes said that he supported the proposal, saying that “such cross-border interaction is vital for my Clwyd South constituency”.
Currently, there are two city deals and two growth deals in operation in Wales, which are agreements between the UK Government, Welsh Government, and the local authorities in the city region.
The Cardiff City Region deal covers ten local authorities in the south-east of Wales, and includes a £1.2 billion investment fund. The Swansea City Deal covers the local authorities of Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire and City and County of Swansea and ncludes £1.3 billion in funding.
A North Wales Growth Deal was signed in December 2020 and covers the local authorities of Conwy County Borough, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey and Wrexham County Borough.
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