William Eichler 26 February 2019

Osborne blasts May’s ‘lack of vision’ over Northern Powerhouse

Osborne blasts May’s ‘lack of vision’ over Northern Powerhouse  image

Former chancellor George Osborne has criticised the Government’s ‘lack of vision’ when it comes to developing the North and has called for ‘action’ from the Prime Minister.

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) today will set out four ‘big ideas’ to help rebalance the economy and shift power and jobs from the South to the North.

The Partnership, which is an independent body representing business and civic leaders in the north of England, will call for ‘direct government intervention’ into schools in the region to prevent young people from falling behind their contemporaries in the South.

As part of this intervention, the Partnership will recommend that an extra £1bn a year for five years should be made available from within the rising education budget to reform pupil premium.

It is also calling for a firm financial commitment to the big infrastructure needed to rebalance the UK economy, especially high-speed rail across the North from Liverpool to Hull.

The Partnership, which is meeting today at the Great Northern Conference in Leeds, will also urge the Government to give the green light to the £39bn plan for Northern Powerhouse Rail, the east-west rail connection, and guarantee that it opens in the North at the same time as HS2.

It will also call for more ‘meaningful’ devolution, which should involve the creation of mayors covering all major urban areas of the North and the granting of powers to pilot road user charging to pay for much-needed local transport improvements.

Commenting on the Government’s approach to the North, George Osborne, who is the chair of the NPP, said: ‘Five years on from the Northern Powerhouse being launched, our idea continues to get stronger and stronger.

‘We have devolved Mayors, new science centres and better infrastructure.

‘Above all, Northern communities and businesses understand that by working together the whole of the North can be stronger. 

‘But the Northern Powerhouse is suffering from a lack of vision from the Government. Indeed, it’s hard to think of a single original idea that has come out of this Downing Street to advance the Northern Powerhouse.

‘So today I’m proposing some policy ideas that would breathe life back into this Government’s claim that it supports the North. It’s time for some action.’ 

Northern Powerhouse minister, Jake Berry, said: 'The North is to benefit from record levels of Government investment including multi-billion pound amounts pledged for transport upgrades and £5bn set aside for Devolution and Growth deals.

'We have initiated the biggest transfer of power from London to local areas since the Second World War.

'We now have four – soon to be five – powerful and accountable Metro Mayors with real powers and a voice on the national and international stage.

'We have established Transport for the North, to help deliver major transport upgrades and we welcome the opportunity to be part of the debate about what’s next for the Northern Powerhouse.'

Declaring a climate change emergency image

Declaring a climate change emergency

Local authorities can play a key role in tackling climate change – and there is plenty for them to do. Never before has thinking globally and acting locally been more important, says Mark Whitehead.
Open letter to Boris Johnson image

Open letter to Boris Johnson

The MJ's editor Heather Jameson asks the new PM a simple question: do you want to fund local government or do you want to scale back services to the basics?
Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Chief Executive

Norwich City Council
Competitive Salary
Could you lead an organisation with a £120m turnover? Norwich, Norfolk
Recuriter: Norwich City Council

Lifeguard

Chelmsford City Council
Grade 3 - Starting at £17,931 per anum and rising to £19,131
Riverside Leisure centre has now opened and its new exciting 25 metre 10 lane pool with Learner Pool, Splash Zone and Flume needs you to help us ma... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Chelmsford City Council

Technician

Derbyshire County Council
£22,628 - £24,455 per annum
Two posts have become available in the Council's Highways Development Control Section Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Business Systems Support Officer

South Holland District Council
£21,166 - £24,799
Starting salary
Recuriter: South Holland District Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine