East of England debated in the House of Commons
East of England debated in the House of Commons

In October, East of England All-Party Parliamentary Group (EEAPPG) Co-Chair Peter Aldous successfully put forward a Westminster Hall debate about “promoting economic growth in the East of England.”

The East of England LGA is continuing to support the EEAPPG; working with the secretariat, the sessions for 2019 are in development and we will circulate topics and dates in due course to our members. 

?Speaking at the debate Mr. Aldous stated that the prupose was "to highlight the enormous economic potential of the east of England and to put forward proposals for promoting growth, which can benefit people right across the region".

He referenced recommendations made by the East of England APPG, which aimed to drive economic growth in the East of England.

These recommendations included firstly, on transport, that: "Government should support England's Economic Heartland and Transport East—the region's two sub-national transport bodies—to become statutory bodies." By doing so, Mr. Aldous suggested there would be better capacity to prioritise, fund and then deliver road, rail and air transport improvements.

On infrastructure he said "councils should have greater discretionary powers to encourage housing delivery… Further action is recommended to free-up finances to build affordable homes at scale" Mr. Aldous suggested doing this by: "relaxing Housing Revenue Account borrowing…Ministers should explore innovative funding options that could help deliver infrastructure to enable new housing, either by direct council investment or by leveraging in other funding…Government should facilitate greater cooperation between developers, infrastructure providers, and local planning authority providers to improve housing delivery."

Mr. Aldous also highlighted the importance of the digital sector to economic growth in the East of England. He noted that the regional industrial strategy focus should be on flagship industries such as life sciences, agri-tech, ICT and clean energy.

 
His speech, along with contributions from other Members of Parliament, can be read in full here.

The response from Richard Harrington, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is available on the EEAPPG website here.