Sherwood MP accuses city council of 'cash grab'

MP Mark Spencer
MP Mark Spencer

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer has accused Nottingham City Council of 'cash grabbing' after 'secret' plans were leaked.

The plans to create a ‘unified metropolitan area’ of Nottingham and Derby - could see large areas of the counties– Amber Valley, Ashfield, Broxtowe, Derby, Erewash, Gedling, Nottingham, Rushcliffe and South Derbyshire – swallowed up and lumped together into a huge new authority.

But, Mansfield, Shirebrook and Newark will not be involved in any plans which are said to have 'enormous' potential.

While the plans are said to strengthen the bond between the two cities and create 'inclusive growth' it could also lead to a major reshuffle of the local political system.

Mr Spencer who represents Hucknall which is currently part of the plan, has said: "It is a cash grab by the city council who want my constituents to pay their taxes.

"I have previously surveyed the people of Hucknall about joining the city and they overwhelmingly want to stay with Ashfield.

"They are happy where they are - I have to represent the view of the constituents."

READ MORE: MP calls 'secret' plans 'odd' as Mansfield is cut from the deal

The plan which cost thousands to make did not consult Nottinghamshire County Council or the leaders of Ashfield District Council untill it was ready to be published.

Mr Spencer said: "They (Nottingham City Council) were clearly doing it under the radar - they knew how people would react.

"They need to accept the city boundaries - they are determined to get us to fund their white elephant project."

Mr Spencer has also said he will be meeting with County Council Leader Kay Cutts MBE about the matter.

READ MORE: Councils fears over ‘secret and underhand’ metropolitan authority plan

Nottinghamshire County Council has since branded the plan as 'misleading' and has said it does not support it.

A spokesman from Nottingham City Council has said: “In April, Derby and Nottingham City Councils launched the Metro Strategy.

“We then asked Metro Dynamics to explore the potential of the Nottingham Derby economy The report, The Economic Case for the Derby-Nottingham Metro, is not due to be published until next week, at which point the two City Councils will review the findings, and of course work together with other council colleagues.

“As part of the development of the Metro Strategy, County Councils were consulted. We are happy to work with any councils that want to be involved in a coalition of the willing.”