Many of us responded to a consultation on this a few months ago. Whether as a result of that exercise or other pressures, there now seems some doubt as to whether it is still on the government’s agenda.
In her report to the December Vale Council meeting, the leader Emily Smith said “in the Comprehensive Spending Review announcements last month, none of the expected funding for sustainable infrastructure in the Arc was forthcoming, there is no longer a minister for the Arc and the team of civil servants who were leading the project have been moved to other Levelling Up work. I was due to attend an Arc Leaders Meeting with other council leaders and Local Enterprise Partnership representatives last week to hear from civil servants about the new ministerial team’s plans for the Arc, but they pulled out at short notice. To be blunt, Councils across the Arc have now been left in Limbo.”
Councillor Smith went on to say that while the Arc project was “far from universally popular” with the Vale and other councils, it had been seen as a means to access funding for sustainable transport and social infrastructure projects for existing residents as well as those in the proposed new developments. The sudden silence from government was therefore extremely frustrating.