Great news for Staffordshire with latest Growth Deal announcement

This week we set out our latest spending proposals for the next five years and budget for 2015/16 which includes an extra £20m for elderly care.

These proposals will help us achieve our aims that I have spoken about many times before: improving health and social care services, giving people access to more better paid jobs and raising standards of education for our young people.

Increasing costs in care is one of the biggest challenges we face, which will be met through a range of savings identified across the council, sensible use of reserves, and, for the first time in four years, a small increase in council tax. Over the next year we will continue to make it our priority to do those things that make the most difference to the lives of Staffordshire people.

If approved by our Cabinet meeting next week the proposals and budget plans go before full council for final approval on 12 February.

More great news for us this week as we have agreed an expansion to our Growth Deal with the Government which will see an extra £15.4m invested in the local area. The announcement is on top of the £82.3m already committed by the Government last July – totalling £97.7m of funding in just six months.

Over the lifetime of the Growth Deal 2015-2021 it is estimated that up to 7,000 new jobs could be created, 1,000 new homes built and that it has the potential to generate £70m public and private investment. The News means even more communities across Staffordshire including Leek, Tamworth, Rugeley and Lichfield can look forward to regeneration of their areas and greater employment opportunities.

The key projects include:

  • The creation of an ‘enterprise quarter’ in Tamworth
  • Construction of a new highway infrastructure to improve access to business and employment sites in Stoke City Centre
  • The refurbishment of London Mill in Leek for employment and housing
  • Improvements to Rugeley Town Centre
  • Regeneration of Friarsgate, Lichfield, for retail and leisure

Our Growth Deal, being driven by our Local Enterprise Partnership is part of a long term plan to devolve at least £12 billion from central government to local economies. The plan aims for every part of the country to be a motor of growth for the wider UK economy – building on the strengths of each area.

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