MPs welcome Government initiative to devolve more power to the Humber area
NORTH East Lincolnshire's two MPs have welcomed the Humber region's approval to go full steam ahead for City Deal status.
Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell has been a staunch advocate of regional Government during his lengthy representation of the town.
He was delighted with this week's announcement that his constituency is part of an area that should be granted certain devolved power and funds in the coming months.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: "I think it is a good deal and a good idea, and I think we have done well to get to this status. I was insistent it should be called the Humber City Deal and not the Hull City Deal as we are not part of Hull City – and we don't want to be – but our interests are common.
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"This provides us with some limited finance to launch our own initiatives and do what we want to do in light of local needs and local industry. I think that is a big advance."
A supporter of the wider regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, that was culled to make way for local enterprise partnerships, Mr Mitchell also welcomed the area's link-up with Lord Heseltine as a pathfinder area for his localism agenda. Mr Mitchell said: "The Tories have taken what Yorkshire Forward had and parcelled it up for a lot of smaller authorities.
"This is a move in the right direction, and in Lord Heseltine, who at 80 next month, is the most dynamic part of this Government, to have him act on our case and promote this area, is another big coup."
Of the role of the MPs in a deal, which could be settled by the summer, Mr Mitchell said: "We want to act as agents, helping with any problems and assisting in issues, such as the development of the Able UK facility on the South Bank.
"Our job is to promote the region and to clear the bottlenecks. City Deal is best led by business and local government, with us helping rather directing."
It comes the day before another vessel is launched in Grimsby to support the burgeoning offshore wind operations and maintenance sector.
Fjord Avocet – one of a fleet from Essex-based Njord Offshore – will be demonstrated in Port of Grimsby East, with the owners aware of the town's role in the emerging industry.
Mr Vickers, who was keeping up with City Deal developments while on a parliamentary visit to Israel, said: "This City Deal development is a further indication that the Government recognises the importance of northern Lincolnshire and the Humber and is prepared to devolve more power to the area to determine our own future, with particular emphasis on the renewables sector and the associated training and apprenticeships."