City Council leader Cllr John Clancy is seeking urgent talks with new Prime Minister Theresa May to make the case of Birmingham's role in the post-Brexit UK economy. Cllr Clancy has written to the new PM explaining why he feels Birmingham has a big contribution to make. And he has urged the new PM to ensure that cities have a voice in negotiations to exit the European Union.
As she launched her bid for leadership of the Conservative Party in Birmingham last week, Mrs May called for greater fairness in developing all Britain’s large cities - not just “one or even two of our great regional cities”. Now Cllr Clancy wants to discuss what that means for Birmingham. He said: "I’m a proud Labour politician but I’m also a pragmatist and from day one in my role as Birmingham City Council leader I’ve met, worked with and lobbied a number of Conservative government ministers. So I’ve wasted no time in writing to Theresa May requesting an urgent meeting with myself and other Birmingham leaders to discuss how our city can play a big part in addressing the post-Brexit challenges the UK now faces.
"In my letter I’ve stressed that our great city is well placed to work with her government to grasp the opportunities and to tackle the challenges that the next period holds. "In the short term we must work out a way of maintaining the investment plans that are currently based on EU funding and ensure that long term repatriation of funds comes down to the local level and not just Whitehall. There must be a voice for the great cities in the negotiations with the EU, as part of the local government representation that Greg Clark has already promised and I would hope the news Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid will agree."
Cllr Clancy added: "I believe that the Brexit vote was a call for all politicians to take up that challenge and to take seriously the need to reform our over-centralised and out-dated approach to government.
"That’s why I particularly welcome the PM’s commitment to creating a plan to help all of our “great regional cities”. Actions of course will speak louder than words and I firmly believe that Birmingham can and should be at the forefront of any such plan."