Leader responds to Centre For Cities Outlook claims
Telford & Wrekin Council leader Shaun Davies said: “Our stated goal is to maximise the borough’s economic well-being as well as raise the aspirations of our residents and that is why we took the decision to become a business supporting and business winning council.
“We signed our unique Land Deal with the Homes and Communities Agency and the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and we have been successful in driving inward investment to the borough while supporting existing businesses to expand.
“This has included massive investment by non EU companies like Magna Cosma, who are based in Canada as well as expansions by Craemer, new investment from Polytec and Rosewood and the commitment by the Ministry of Defence to build their logistics hub in the borough.
“Magna’s investment will create nearly 300 manufacturing jobs alone and we have also seen Cap Gemini and HMRC maintain their commitment to the Borough – these are different types of jobs to those referenced in the report – many skilled and in growing sectors such as digital and ICT.
“The Borough boasts two Universities and the new Telford College providing a strong base to build the skills of our young people so new investment means local jobs.
“All of this investment is built on the Council’s commitment to cut red tape, to drive inward investment and to enable businesses to expand – making direct investment into infrastructure, ensuring our employment sites are shovel ready and simplifying the planning process combining to make this possible.
“I think there is an opportunity for the government to demonstrate real leadership by creating a New Town Deal to help places like Telford achieve more economic stability and certainty going forward, resulting in fairer funding for the council. I would urge them to do this.
“The report emphasises that government’s funding model will increase the north/south divide. Southern boroughs with an average property in Band D council tax range can generate significantly more funding than their equivalents in the north and the Midlands where an average property might typically be a Band B. This is an inequality that needs addressing.”
His comments follow a Centre for Cities report published today which claims that Telford would be hit by a loss of jobs to automation and globalisation over the next 12 years.