It remains to be seen whether Birmingham’s proposed city deal will be accepted by the Government, and it is unlikely that comprehensive details of the proposal will be published while negotiations are taking place.
But one thing that is already clear is that Birmingham has pulled off the seemingly impossible feat of forging an alliance with neighbouring authorities to fight for extra powers and resources for the city.
It has also won over the business community, thanks apparently to the far-sighted decision to allow the Local Enterprise Partnership to lead the way.
Birmingham’s city deal doesn’t need to be all about Birmingham. There was never any reason that neighbouring authorities couldn’t benefit too.
But getting West Midland councils to work together has always been a bit of a pipe dream. That’s no longer true, by the look of it.
Perhaps John Lewis boss Andy Street, the chair of the LEP, deserves some of the credit.
A “city deal” with implications far beyond city boundaries surely deserves Ministerial backing.