Calderdale must have greater influence

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Calderdale Council announced on 27 June 2011 that it’s Leader, Councillor Janet Battye, had taken a ‘key role’ within the Leeds City Region (LCR). In the same announcement Councillor Battye stated that she would use the role of Deputy Chair to “raise the profile of Calderdale”.

Less that two weeks later and the Council has announced that the LCR Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) has submitted a bid for £15m of Regional Growth Fund (RGF) funding to support programmes and projects that will leverage up to £78m of additional investment.

We are told that, if successful, this would provide the city region with around £93m total new investment, with the potential to create 3,000 jobs. The Council states that the RGF bid is to support a major project in Bradford City Centre, an LCR Green Business Growth Fund, investment in key transport projects, and 17 company-specific projects.

Tellingly though, there is no reference to any projects or companies in Calderdale that will benefit directly from the RGF bid.

With the abolition of Yorkshire Forward, the RGF is the only available source of significant public sector regeneration funding and LEPs are important to accessing it.

It is important, therefore, that Calderdale has a greater influence in the LCR than this RGF bid seems to suggest. Samuel Stafford

Mill Bank,

Sowerby Bridge