National and Devolved Politics

13.01.20

How can The Northern Powerhouse support the next generation?

Denise Park, Chief Executive of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, chats to PSE about the risk of smaller towns getting left behind on the Northern Powerhouse agenda.

For Northern Council’s it’s really important to raise the profile of the North and rebalance investment to all parts of the country. What I’d like to see is it include those areas of the North that are outside the major cities.

It’s about working together, making sure we support each other and the agenda and recognise we don’t all have the same needs or the same communities, but we all need to benefit from this. Playing to our own strengths but recognising the linkages. Blackburn with Darwen is very focused on manufacturing, so how do we exploit advanced manufacturing and trade opportunities?

In an area like ours, it’s easy to be inward looking and local, but how do we exploit the opportunities our communities might have with South Asia or the Middle East in export. I think Local Authorities in the North need to have joined up conversation and recognise the importance of working together.

Given the importance of the climate emergency, declared by many councils, investing in public transport and cleaner, greener transport infrastructure has to be a key part of what the Northern Powerhouse Is doing.

We are really looking forward to seeing the Devolution white paper to see what is included, not all areas have Combined Authorities and directly elected Mayors, so we need to make sure that areas like ours are not left behind.

I think Combined Authorities are going to be important for that sub-regional, joined up work, but Government needs to realise were not all there yet, so how will they support those communities?

I’d like to see a commitment on working with authorities on infrastructure funding and devolved funding, giving us flexibility to determine our own priorities because we know what is required in our own areas.

We need to see a commitment on skills and retaining talent to support future generation workforces, as they will have different requirements to existing workforces.

What are they going to do about business rates and tax changes, to support post-industrial town centres? And linked to that is investment into health and care innovation to support our workforce and improve productivity given the health challenges we face.

 

On the 4th and 5th of March in Manchester, the EvoNorth conference is uniting hundreds of chief executives, directors and senior managers from across the Northern Powerhouse responsible for the delivery of transformational public services to the millions of citizens located in the North.

Over the two days delegates get to collaborate and share best practice through a series of seminars, panel discussions, workshops and innovation hubs focusing on improved outcomes and transformational public services and get to hear from an eclectic mix of speakers and panellists including Sir Merrick Cockell from Localis and the UK Municipal Bonds Agency; Cllr James Jamieson of the LGA; Tim Wood, Northern Powerhouse Rail Director, Transport for the North; Roger Marsh, Chair of NP11 and many more... 

 Click here to secure your subsidised tickets to this CPD accredited event for only £89.95 each and save over £200.

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