National and Devolved Politics

10.06.19

Government gives Northern Powerhouse minister new housing and energy remit

The Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry has had his powers extended to include housing, business and energy by the government, “strengthening its commitment to the Norther Powerhouse.”

The joint ministerial position will see Berry provide enhanced oversight and co-ordination of local economic growth and will ensure key policies such as the £1.6bn Stronger Towns Fund and Northern Powerhouse are “at the heart of the Modern Industrial Strategy.”

Berry said the appointment, which comes ahead of a refreshed Northern Powerhouse Strategy due to be published later this year, puts the north “on the cusp of a new era” with renewed impetus and focus on growth.

He said: “At the heart of the Northern Powerhouse is an unshakeable partnership between business, communities and government.

“We’re investing more into transport in the north than any other government in history, and with nearly 50% of the north represented by metro mayors, a Northern Powerhouse economy worth over £339bn, and now, with an expanded, cross-governmental ministerial position, that partnership is stronger than ever.

“I’m delighted to accept this new appointment and I’m grateful to the Prime Minister for the unwavering support she has given to the Northern Powerhouse.”

The joint ministerial position is shared between the Ministry of Housing Communities & Local Government and Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The move comes days before Theresa May, who has faced criticism from some over side-lining the Northern powerhouse agenda, is due to step down as prime minister.

Communities secretary, James Brokenshire, said: “With this broadened ministerial role, the government has cemented its long-term commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.

“In Jake Berry, the government has a minister who has worked tirelessly with the Metro Mayors and our partners in the public and private sectors to drive growth, investment and job creation throughout the north.”

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