"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

City Deals Programme

Location: Great Britain

Website: w

The Minister for Cities, supported by the Cities Policy Unit, is working closely with individual cities and across all government departments to agree a series of tailored ‘city deals’. The content of the ‘city deals’ will reflect the different needs of cities.

We are looking to civic and private sector leaders to identify their economic priorities and to develop specific propositions, setting out what they would like to do differently, and what needs to change for this to happen. Every deal aims to give cities the powers and tools they need to drive local economic growth and unlock projects or initiatives that will boost economies and deliver a step change in the governance arrangements.

Our approach to city deals is informed by a set of key principles:

- Putting cities in the driving seat: cities, not Whitehall, are best placed to understand the economic opportunities and challenges they face. Many have already taken the initiative and begun to develop credible economic strategies, and these will be the starting point for our work with cities.

- Focusing on the wider metro area: Encouraging deals across the wider economic area has clear merits in terms of scale, geographical reach and economic governance. Deals will be negotiated with groups of authorities across a functional economic area.

- Working across boundaries, sectors and professions: partnership and collaboration between Government, cities and their neighbouring authorities, and local business leaders will be critical to delivering transformative change.

- Devolving real power to city authorities: cities need the right levers to drive economic growth. Where there are clear economic gains to be had we will look for opportunities to devolve powers and responsibilities.

- Providing incentives for sustainable success: local leaders will need to redouble their efforts in creating incentives and conditions for private sector success.

- Frontload political engagement: getting real political traction and buy-in within central government by frontloading ministerial engagement with cities.

The first round of participating cities are:


These largest and most economically important English cities outside of London were invited to set out the powers they need to drive local growth in December last year.

In return, the cities have agreed to put in place stronger, more accountable local leadership and to spend their resources more efficiently. The resulting groundbreaking agreements signal a dramatic shift, freeing cities from Whitehall control.

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