The Tay Cities Deal at long last finally looks like it is heading towards being signed. This should have happened long before now.
I have been calling for speed since the Heads of Terms were signed in November 2018. I said at that time that other City Deals were taking just over a year to get from Heads of Terms to signing the deal and that I wanted the Tay Cities Deal to progress faster. Sadly, it looks like it will be nearly two years between the Heads of Terms being signed and the actual deal being signed. This is too long.
I am sad to say that not much has been achieved in those two years other than for inflation to make the money available not go as far as it might have. I am disappointed that there was no agreement that the projects at the James Hutton Institute should be supported earlier in the deal. I will join with my colleagues to ensure that the focus remains on supporting those important plans. The James Hutton Institute is located within Perth and Kinross but it does contribute to the wider economy in Dundee and we should be supportive of it.
I want the UK Government to look at ways in which it can speed up its investment and make sure that the maximum benefit is achieved for the people of the region.
On the joint committee councillors have left politics and council boundaries at the door, even on video calls, to put the interests of the Tay Cities region first. It is sad that the UK and Scottish Governments did not get on with it as we have done.
I will be looking for the Tay Cities Deal to be signed soon and for the investment to start soon. We need to put delivering jobs in Dundee and the wider Tay Cities Region at the top of our list of priorities.