Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Chief Executive, John Kelpie, will meet the British Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, to discuss a ‘City Deal’ for Derry.
The meeting, with the minister responsible for a suite of ‘City Deals’ across the UK, and which will take place next week, has been arranged by the Foyle MP Elisha McCallion. Mr. Javid has already written to the Council, stating: “I’m am encouraged to hear about the work that DC&SDC are doing to develop a draft statement of intent for a potential City Deal for the Derry/Londonderry region.”
He’s also indicated a willingness to visit Derry to discuss the matter.
At a meeting of the Council’s Governance and Strategic Planning Committee, Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Cooper, said it was important any future ‘City Deal’ for Derry had a North/South element and suggested such a deal would be a vehicle with which to progress Derry’s own Strategic Growth Plan. He invited organisations such as Ulster University and the Chamber of Commerce to contact Mrs. McCallion’s office if they were interested in attending next week’s meeting.
SDLP Colr. Martin Reilly said he was pleased Sinn Féin had warmed to the idea of a ‘City Deal’, which, he said, the former MP for Foyle, Mark Durkan, had championed since the concept’s inception in 2012.