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Lack of transparency causes uncertainty over City Deals

Published 03 May 2017 by Jamie Wylie

Transform Scotland yesterday responded to the Local Government and Communities Committee’s call for evidence on the City Deals.

Despite offering potential to transform cities across Scotland and boost economic growth, there is a huge amount of uncertainty as to what the City Deals will achieve for Scotland and its transport system. Our response highlighted concerns that we have with the City Deals and made a number of recommendations to improve the transparency and clarity of the process.

There is a need to ensure that the City Deals help to develop sustainable transport in and around Scotland’s cities, instead of focusing on expensive and ineffective new road building. It is vital that the City Deals link up well with other Government priorities on transport, namely promoting public transport and active travel, improving public health and developing sustainable economic growth.

Our recommendations to improve the City Deals process are:

  • The forthcoming Transport Bill should require that Local Authorities adopt and monitor up to date Local Transport Strategies; access to City Deals should be conditional on this requirement being met
  • Local Authorities involved in City Deals should publish in a form easily accessible to the public all expenditure intended in them
  • The Scottish Government should review City Deals to establish whether they contribute to the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework
  • Local Authorities involved in City Deals should publish the carbon emission implications of the intended investments. The Scottish Government should consider this as part of its Climate Change Plan
  • The Scottish Government should consider within the forthcoming Transport Bill could provide new revenue-raising powers to Local Authorities to raise funds locally
  • The Scottish Government should review regional transport and land use planning in its National Transport Strategy Review.

To read our submission in full, see here.