Latest Public Sector News

10.09.18

Welsh secretary announces vision for ‘Western Powerhouse’

Secretary of state for Wales Alun Cairns will today outline his vision for the Western Powerhouse at the Policy Forum Wales seminar in front of an audience of local leaders.

The Welsh secretary will lay down the challenge to local government, education and business leaders to come forward with ideas on how to bolster existing relationships and develop new partnerships, working to make the Western Powerhouse concept a reality.

Opening the Policy Forum in Newport, Alun Cairns will say: “The cities on the western side of the UK are individually strong, but collectively, we are not strong enough.

“We need to light the blue touch paper and make a real step change to the way businesses, people and industry from the cities and towns from both sides of the Severn work together when the tolls are removed.

“And I’m not talking about one city taking the lead, but a collection of cities, of communities, of businesses, sufficiently close to each other that, combined, they can take on the world.”

At the end of the year, the tolls to use the Severn Crossings will be removed, taking away one of the greatest economic barriers between Wales and England.

Companies on both sides of the border are already benefiting from the removal of VAT in January, and when the tolls are completely abolished, the UK Government wants to see businesses pool their expertise to deliver the ideas and projects.

Tim Bowles, metro mayor of the West of England; and Cardiff Council leader Huw Thomas, are also attending the event.

The Western Powerhouse will aim to benefit the cities of Swansea, Cardiff, Newport, Bristol and Bath, but also the wider South Wales and South West regions.

Cairns will say: “We need to seize the opportunity to create an economic region on the Western side of the UK that can compete with the Northern Powerhouse, the Midlands Engine and with the economy of the South East.

“This is not a marketing campaign or a one-off event. It’s got to be a serious, long-term strategy to make this part of the UK greater than the sum of its parts.

“For far too long, the physical barrier of the Severn tolls has prevented businesses and people in Wales and the South West from working together in a way that they could have been.

“This has got to be driven by you, the experts. It’s got to be about your attitude and about your ideas.”

Cairns first called for a ‘Western Powerhouse’ similar to the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine agreements back in January.

Enjoying PSE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Image credit - Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

14/11/2019Utilising data to best deliver meaningful public services

Public Sector Executive’s Matt Roberts explains how living in a modern, interconnected world, as we do, means public sector organisations cannot afford to ignore the rol... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >