Prime Minister Theresa May has said she is “absolutely committed” to devolution and will ensure the “whole machinery of government gets behind” the Northern Powerhouse.
Writing for the Manchester Evening News today, Ms May hailed the “huge, tangible changes” being brought to the region as a result of Greater Manchester’s devolution deals.
However, she said she was “clear that we must do more to put local people back in control and spread opportunity to make our country one that works for everyone”.
Ms May said Greater Manchester would be “integral to creating an industrial strategy for our country” and she added: “I don’t want to see our country dependent on one city any more. I want to get all of our great cities firing on all cylinders to rebalance our economy. I will work with leaders here in Greater Manchester to build on the Northern Powerhouse, celebrating and further spurring the enormous contribution and potential of cities like Manchester, to deliver economic prosperity and more opportunities for everyone.”
Ms May said she wanted to give “our great cities the power and resources they need to reach their potential” and added: “That’s why I appointed Rochdale-born Sajid Javid, with his strong business experience as communities secretary, to boost the economies of the northern cities, with proud northerner Andrew Percy as Northern Powerhouse minister. Lord O’Neill, a Mancunian, also has responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse at the Treasury. Together, we will ensure the whole machinery of government gets behind it.”
Ms May’s op-ed comes just four days after George Osborne launched the Northern Powerhouse Partnership think-tank following a summer in which the former chancellor’s flagship policy seemingly came under threat while the new administration settled in.
LGC reported last month how Ms May first broke her silence on the Northern Powerhouse project, as well as the Midlands Engine initiative, when she wrote for the Yorkshire Post and Birmingham Mail respectively.