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NEWS


City Deals will see budgets devolved from Whitehall


Eight cities are to


get extra


powers over transport,


infrastructure and education budgets, as they sign up to new ‘City Deals’.


Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool,


Newcastle,


Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester have been negotiating the deals with cities minister Greg Clark (pictured) and Deputy PM Nick Clegg for the past six months. Preliminary deals had already been signed with Manchester and Liverpool.


Cash currently distributed directly, giving to


these councils by Government departments will instead be devolved


the


cities more flexibility over local spending, it is hoped. Ministers suggest the deals could create 170,000 jobs and 37,000 apprentices over 20 years and unlock £8.2bn in spending.


infrastructure


Clark said: “Our major cities have seized the opportunity to take control of their economic destiny and will now reap the benefits of new financial freedoms and investment opportunities available to them.”


Clegg added: “Everyone in these eight core cities will feel the benefits – from young people looking for jobs, to businesses looking to expand. Over the coming months, we are transferring more and more


Census shows largest population boom on record


The population of England and Wales has increased from 52.4 million to 56.1 million since 2001 – the largest growth ever shown by a UK census.


The population has grown by 7.1%, or 3.7 million, outstripping the figures from 1991-2001 when there was growth of 1.6 million. On 27 March 2011, England had a population of 53 million. Wales’ population was 3.1 million.


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that 1.6 million of


the 3.7 million population growth could be attributed to the net birth rate to net death rate. The remaining growth was attributed to net migration.


The population exceeded estimates for the census by approximately 400,000 people.


The signs of an increasingly ageing population were evident, with the highest ever percentage of the population aged 65 and older recorded at 16.4%, equivalent to one in six of the


population. Residents aged 90 and over were up to 430,000 compared to 340,000 in 2001. 315,000 of those residents were women, outnumbering the men nearly three-to-one.


The number of women in England and Wales remains higher overall by just less than one million, with 27.6 million men clipped to post by 28.5 million women.


power from Whitehall to these cities.”


Julie Dore, leader of Sheffield council, said: “The City Deal will mean that local people who best understand the needs of the local economy will decide how £23.8m of


government skills should be invested.”


Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn welcomed the deals, but called for more devolution of powers to other areas. He said: “What we now need is a clear


commitment that local


authorities in all parts of England – including other cities, counties and districts – will be given the same opportunity to come together and take back power in the interests of the communities they represent.”


funding


announced A geothermal energy project will bring renewable energy for heating to Manchester.


Manchester geothermal heat network


The UK’s largest deep-geothermal heat plant will tap into the natural energy reservoir known as the Cheshire Basin, beneath Manchester. The project is also expected to generate green economy skills and jobs.


The plant will be based on two wells, approximately 3,000m deep in the Ardwick district and the heating network will be used to supply the busy Oxford Road corridor, home to many of the city’s university buildings. It could potentially connect homes, businesses and other institutions.


It follows the introduction of the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) which offers financial incentives to encourage the development of renewable energy for heating. The RHI can draw on funds of £70m during 2012/13 towards this aim.


Energy minister Greg Barker said: “This is exactly the sort of innovative green project we want to see sprouting up across the country.”


Top and bottom cities today same as in 1901


The cities with the highest


numbers of well-trained and educated residents in 1901 are among the best performing places today – and vice versa.


The Centre for Cities think tank, which conducted the


4 | public sector executive Jul/Aug 12


research, said this could have significant implications for policy decisions has urged government investment in literacy, numeracy and IT to ensure cities’ future success.


Seven out of eight of the best performing cities today, including Oxford and London, had above- average skills levels in 1901 and 80% of modern cities with


struggling economies, such as Middlesbrough and Stoke, were in the bottom 20 cities for skills levels in 1901, according to census data and national statistics.


Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “History tells us that failure to invest in city economies has long-term effects for the UK economy.”


GT Energy’s CEO Padraig Hanly said: “At present, energy for heating


is almost entirely fossil-


fuel based, but as geothermal energy is abundant we believe that we can utilise this resource in an economical and efficient way for the benefit of the citizens of Manchester.”


A planning application will be submitted in September.


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