When is a city deal not a city deal?

City Deal – Not so spectacular

When the council says they will match with up to £500,000,000 – and talk about a billion – where do they say to you it is coming from?
… leaving to one side the assumption that the City Deal delivers £500m which is ‘achievable’ and Labour are determined it will, but it is by no means in the bag.
A useful but overall moderate part of the ‘other £500m’ can and will be raised from Community Infrastructure Levy on future schemes not started or approved yet, and from other development gain on these new sites but nothing anywhere is a good % of that sum, and all gain on existing consented sites is largely spoken for.
It can be more, but for comparison … after major effort, £10m to £20m was raised from development towards the guided bus by the County including from the Southern fringe.
Like there, each of the future new developments will also be obliged to fund …. affordable housing, site infrastruture including local roads, schools and community facilities and a lot more.
While we are determined to achieve far better in future years, this year’s LEP ‘Strategic Economic Plan’ bid is useful but limited for Greater Cambridge and at best will only fund a fraction of the annual Greater Cambridge transport fund deficit this round.
And when the three Councils borrow, as they will need to to have at least a good prospect of reaching the two x £200m ‘achievable’ payments, they will then have to repay those loans out of city deal income, or lose out if targets are missed, and all three councils combined have very limited other reserves.

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