Transport and jobs will be on the agenda when David Cameron meets a high level delegation of Birmingham leaders to discuss the city’s future.
Council leader Sir Albert Bore (Lab) will lead the cross-party delegation when they meet the Prime Minister in Downing Street.
Conservatives will be represented by councillor Randal Brew, the former Cabinet Member for Finance, while Birmingham Chamber chief executive Jerry Blackett and Andy Street, the John Lewis Managing Director who chairs Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), will also be part of the delegation.
It follows the announcement of a “city deal” agreed between Birmingham, working with neighbouring authorities, and the Government, which Ministers say could bring 10,800 jobs to the region.
This included a range of measures such as a planned new £25 million medical centre in Edgbaston, but the city’s proposals to improve transport links near Birmingham Airport and create a new transport authority were not accepted by the Government.
Rather than simply asking for more money to improve transport links, the delegation is expected to set out proposals to allow the city and its neighbours to make better use of existing funding streams by placing the cash in one central pot which can be used to pay for infrastructure.
There will also be some discussion of the effect of spending cuts imposed by central government, but this will form only a small part of Birmingham’s message to the Prime Minister.
Speaking to The Birmingham Post, Sir Albert said: “This will be a cross-party event setting out an agenda which the council and business leaders and the LEP share, and which the Government also shares.
“It is about how Birmingham’s economy can grow and how we can create jobs, helping to deliver the Government’s aim of supporting economic growth and supporting job growth in the regions.”
Sir Albert, who also will be accompanied by the council’s deputy leader Coun Ian Ward at the meeting, said that authority was in the process of consulting with other attendees about the issues to be raised with the Prime Minister.
They are likely to include proposals to allow Birmingham to improve the way it attracts inward investment to the city and wider region, allowing it to compete with Scotland, which has two development boards run by the Scottish government.
Other proposals include allowing councils to keep a share of the money government saves when new jobs are created and fewer people claim benefits. This money would be used to attract further investment, leading to more jobs.
Plans to improve skills in the region by encouraging employers, colleges and schools to work together and provide students with work experience, which were agreed as part of the city deal, are also likely to be on the agenda.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister is looking forward to this meeting and welcomes the chance to discuss opportunities to promote growth in Birmingham with this cross-party group.”
Mr Cameron agreed to the talks, taking place on September 5, after he was asked by Erdington MP Jack Dromey (Lab) to meet a delegation from Birmingham, during Prime Ministers Questions in the House of Commons earlier this year.
Coun Brew was asked by Coun Mike Whitby, leader of the opposition Conservative group on the city council, to attend because he will be on holiday when the meeting takes place. Liberal Democrats have declined to attend.