Northern 'PowwowHouse' - chancellor sits down with Northern mayors


Chancellor Philip Hammond will host the Government’s first meeting with all three metro mayors from the North of England today (4 September), in an effort to reinvigorate the struggling Northern Powerhouse agenda.

The Treasury said boosting productivity in the region will be top of the agenda when he meets Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, and the Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen.

Philip Hammond: Powerhouse is 'key' to post-brexit economy

He will also see how work is progressing on a new rail link, the Ordsall Chord, which will connect Manchester’s three main train stations and provide direct links to Manchester Airport from across the North. 

A Treasury statement said the chancellor 'is clear the Northern Powerhouse will have a key role in the Industrial Strategy' and Britain's post-Brexit economy.

However, the Government's commitment to the programme has been questioned recently after rail electrification schemes were paused in the North and Midlands, despite transport secretary Chris Grayling appearing to push forward work on Crossrail 2 in London.

Former chancellor George Osborne, credited with masterminding the agenda when in office, made pointed remarks in the press calling on the Government to not let the Northern Powerhouse agenda slip.

Mr Hammond said: 'We are investing record amounts in infrastructure, and working with metro mayors to encourage growth and create opportunities throughout the North.'

Housing is also on the agenda, with Treasury officials suggesting progress had been being made on a ‘housing deal’ with Leeds, which would look to increase the supply of housing in areas of high demand.

Communities and Local Government secretary Sajid Javid said: 'I want to strike housing deals across the country to support councils’ ambitious and innovative plans for new homes, and to help boost supply where it’s most needed. We’re committed to considering all tools at our disposal, and by using our money more flexibly we can deliver more homes.

'We’re making good progress with a Leeds housing deal and hope to announce further details at Autumn Budget. As well as increasing housing, this will help grow local economies as part of our commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.'


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