Help city grow, minister urged

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NEW Cities Minister Greg Clark has been invited to come to Sheffield and discuss government plans to boost economic growth.

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore has written to the minister, asking him to visit the city so she can meet him to talk about how the city could benefit from plans to allow Britain’s eight largest councils to keep their own business rates and borrow money more easily to fund infrastructure projects.

The plans are being spearheaded by Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP Nick Clegg.

Coun Dore said: “It is one of our top priorities to develop the new sustainable industries that have grown in our city in recent years. This will be central to diversifying our economy and developing the private sector, we need to do this to bring in jobs to the city which will prevent a generation of young people becoming confined to the scrapheap.”

“We will need to work nationally to achieve this which is why I have invited the new Minister for Cities to come to visit Sheffield so we can explain the challenges facing the development of our local economy.”

Coun Dore said last week’s disappointing news that the economy grew by only 0.2 per cent between April and June reinforced the need to support economic development.

Mr Clark, who moved into the post last month, said he wants to enable councils to bid to the Government for additional powers and freedoms to assist the development of their economies.

Nick Clegg, who is chairing a committee overseeing the plans, said he aimed to make cities like Sheffield ‘economic powerhouses’.