On Tuesday 14th October, I asked the Minister for Universities, Science and Cities responsible for regional and local growth, what discussions had been had with the D2N2 local enterprise partnership, which represents Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, to devolve powers and responsibilities from Whitehall.
This Government awarded the D2N2 over £174 million which has been devolved to the local enterprise partnership to fund job creation, investment in skills and training, improve local roads and providing support for small businesses.
I also asked about what funding is available for the long-awaited and much needed Ripley-Codnor bypass. This issue is a hot topic on the doorstep with my constituents and this project desperately needs prioritising to address the terrible traffic congestion on Nottingham Road in Ripley.
I look forward to welcoming the Minister of State for Decentralisation to Derbyshire to see what can be done to prioritise funding for this project that I know would greatly benefit a number of my constituents in Ripley, Codnor and the surrounding areas.
You can read my questions to the Minister and his responses below:
Nigel Mills MP: What discussions he has with the D2N2 local enterprise partnership on devolving powers and responsibilities from Whitehall.
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, Greg Clark: During negotiations on the growth deals, I met all local enterprise partnerships, including D2N2. The growth deal in my hon. Friend’s area will mean that £174 million previously held by central Government will be devolved to his area, creating jobs, investing in the skills needed by local employers, improving roads and supporting small businesses. I am determined to build on that deal and will visit the area shortly to discuss what further powers and resources can be devolved.
Nigel Mills: D2N2 has made Nottingham Road in Ripley in my seat one of its key sites for growth. The area suffers terribly from traffic congestion. Is funding available to complete a bypass for Ripley and Codnor so that we can relieve that congestion?
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office, Greg Clark: I am familiar with that proposal. It was not put forward as a priority by the local enterprise partnership but, as I have said, I am keen to have a further look at what other schemes will make a big impact locally. My hon. Friend has made a powerful piece of advocacy for it today, and perhaps when I am in the area I will look at it.