During a debate on the next round of funding as part of the government's Towns Fund, Jo Gideon the Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central made the case for the unique circumstances of Stoke-on-Trent's six towns to recognised by the criteria established for the next round of funding.
Jo Gideon MP asked: "Stoke-on-Trent is a city of six towns and three highly motivated Conservative Members of Parliament. As my right hon. Friend knows, we work together to ensure joined-up strategic thinking and maximum benefit for everyone in Stoke-on-Trent.
"On behalf of all three Stoke-on-Trent MPs, will he ensure that the bid process for the next round of town deals will allow for a Stoke deal featuring three of our towns, Hanley, Longton and Tunstall, and will recognise the importance of investment in our towns in the future vision for our city as a whole?"
"Will he allow for a Stoke deal featuring three of our towns, Hanley, Longton and Tunstall"
In response, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick MP commented that: "My hon. Friend and I have discussed this previously.
"The criteria designed by the Department for the towns fund placed an upper limit on the size of communities that were able to benefit from it, because it was supposed to support towns and smaller cities.
"I appreciate that the circumstances of Stoke are unusual because, although a city, it is a collection of historical towns, so it was not able to be considered as part of the process.
"When we design the criteria for the competitive phase, we will take into consideration her view that collections of towns, even within a broader city, might be eligible."