The prime minister has promised to put ‘the whole machinery of government’ behind the Northern Powerhouse and said she is ‘absolutely committed’ to devolution.
In an article in the Manchester Evening News, Theresa May said that ‘creating a country that works for everyone’ was her Government’s ‘mission’. She added: ‘and we will achieve it by backing business growth right across the North, and giving our great cities the power and resources they need to reach their potential.’
Theresa May is 'absolutely committed' to devolution
Pointing to the appointment of northerners to key roles with responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse, the prime minister pledged: ‘Together, we will ensure the whole machinery of government gets behind it.‘
Ms May said the Government was investing record amounts into transport for the North, including ‘spending £13bn on improving infrastructure by accelerating the upgrade of key roads like the M62 to four lane smart motorways, as well as exploring projects to join up the great cities like faster east to west rail connections’.
She said this ‘means better transport within cities like Manchester too, such as helping roll out Oyster card-style ticketing across Greater Manchester’.
In her article, the prime minister cited the ‘historic’ devolution of power from Westminster as ‘another crucial part of our commitment to the North’.
She said: ‘In 2010 we started a bold new era of devolution, and I am absolutely committed to seeing it continue, giving local people more control over decisions that affect them, with new powerful elected mayors flying the flag for their cities both domestically and internationally.’
Ms May said Greater Manchester had ‘led the way and is now in charge of its £6bn health and social care budget [and] has the ability to form a single pot for economic growth’.
Last week former chancellor George Osborne said the Northern Powerhouse agenda had suffered from uncertainty after Ms May’s appointment.
‘Let's be honest, there was a little bit of a wobble when we had the new administration as to whether they were still committed to the concept of the Northern Powerhouse,’ he told the BBC Today Programme.
Surveyor Events has confirmed a one-day conference in Manchester on 10 November specifically designed to prepare local government for the transition towards regional transport planning.
Successful Regional Transport 2016 will feature keynote speakers including David Brown, chief executive of Transport for the North and Cathy Miller deputy director for cities, policy and delivery at the Department for Transport.
Click here for the conference programme and to register.