I gathered yesterday with the leaders of Bath and North East Somerset, South Gloucestershire and our Metro Mayor to host Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid.
The day was about winning backing for the government deal that will enable us to unlock the building of thousands of homes. At present we are awaiting the result of our Housing Infrastructure Fund bid and Housing Deal.
While we can’t guarantee anything until the papers are signed and shovels are in the ground, this morning was very positive for Bristol.
It was positive that the Minister chose Bristol to host his big housing speech yesterday, as we lead up to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement and on the same day the Prime Minster declared her commitment to house-building.
It was positive that in his speech he acknowledged the huge potential in Bristol in general and the Temple Meads Quarter in particular. He contrasted our commitment to getting things done, the political cooperation across the region’s borders and the popular recognition of today’s huge opportunity with its history as a symbol of decline.
We will have powerful partners in the Homes and Communities Agency who have been directed to be less cautious and more aggressive in supporting authorities to get homes built. This sits alongside the Minister’s commitment to work with authorities who show willingness to deliver.
The key thing to take away is that Bristol is being recognised as a city that is committed to getting homes built and a place government want to be associated with because we can deliver.