September 16, 2019 @ 15:44 by Richard Dawson
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has renewed the Government’s pledge to support the Northern Powerhouse by granting regions more powers and further devolution deals.
While giving a speech in South Yorkshire, Mr Johnson confirmed that the North will continue to receive backing through the creation of a new growth body to drive the region’s economy.
The body will be led by an appointed chair, who will work closely with the Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse — a role currently held by Jake Berry MP.
The new entity will have access to extra powers to bring more major organisations together in the region with the aim of greater economic prosperity.
In his speech, Mr Johnson said: “It is time that we gave more people a say over the places where they live, and it is time that we gave you the proper ability to run things your way.
“We are going to maximise the power of the North. And we are going to make sure that it is people here who are in control over the things that matter to them.”
The Prime Minister also reaffirmed that he intends to seek further devolution, where more control is given to local leaders so that they can ensure their communities have the final say in many issues, including transport, infrastructure, and housing.
Johnson concluded by saying: “If we succeed in levelling up opportunity across our country, and if we truly put the power in your hands, then I believe you will do for the North — and for our whole country — what the railways did two centuries ago.
“That is the true potential of this Northern Powerhouse Partnership. And this is a Government that will back you to deliver it.”
However, despite delivering a positive speech on the future of the Northern Powerhouse, the Prime Minister’s trip did not go entirely smoothly.
During the speech, there were several interruptions from members of the public for answers about Brexit and where Mr Johnson’s political priorities lay with a looming deadline on 31 October.
Elsewhere during the trip, there was also a confrontation with another member of the public who criticised the Government’s policy of austerity in previous years.