Birmingham Conservatives have agreed to team up with Labour rivals on a visit to 10 Downing Street to demand a better deal for the city.
Last month Prime Minister David Cameron agreed to a request from Erdington Labour MP Jack Dromey meet a delegation from Birmingham to discuss cutbacks in government funding and ways of kick-starting the regional economy.
And now the Conservative former cabinet member for finance Randal Brew will join Labour council leader Sir Albert Bore and Mr Dromey to the talks at Number 10.
Conservative group leader Mike Whitby and deputy leader Robert Alden are both unavailable for the September 5 meeting due to holiday and honeymoon commitments.
Coun Alden said: “As the former holder of the purse strings Coun Brew is an ideal addition to the visiting team. “We are pleased the council will be heading to Number 10 to make a presentation and represent the best interests of Birmingham.
“Birmingham is the world’s greatest city and we will be pushing to ensure that we get the resources to continue improving Birmingham for every Brummie.
“This meeting is not about party politics but rather about parties putting aside their differences and promoting Birmingham. It is therefore to be welcomed.”.
He said while pressing hard for an improved deal it will not be about ‘having a go’ at the Government and pointed out that the city had benefitted from additional funding such as £13.9 million for work with troubled families and £10 million towards the development of superfast broadband.
At the July council meeting Sir Albert invited the opposition party members to join him to argue that Birmingham needs investment to deliver its share of the jobs and growth Britain needs.
“We will seek a fair share of government resources for the city,” he said.
A key message of the Labour local election manifesto earlier this year was that Birmingham had been hit much harder by central Government funding cuts than many authorities in the south of the UK.
One person who is so far not going to join the group is the Liberal Democrat group leader and former council deputy leader Paul Tilsley, claiming that the event would be used as party-political propaganda to bash the Coalition Government.
He is also angry at the new Labour administration’s criticism of his regime.
He said: “There is an issue with local Government funding and it is one I have taken up with Coalition ministers many times. This week I was the only Liberal Democrat on the national local democracy working party and argued that we need to broaden our funding base and not be so reliant on government grant.
“I am still working for Birmingham, but in my own way,” he added.
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