Budget 2021 - West Yorkshire Combined Authority Response
The West Yorkshire Combined Authority has set out its response to the Chancellor's Budget statement
Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget statement, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said:
“Our region has the biggest financial and professional services sector outside London so it’s the right call for the Chancellor to locate the UK Infrastructure Bank here. This announcement will benefit not just Leeds but also Bradford and the wider region. It will bring good jobs and be an incentive for other businesses to locate here. I am obviously very disappointed that we have not been selected as the location for the Treasury’s new northern campus.
“The Budget was a missed opportunity for the Chancellor to commit to funding the West Yorkshire Economic Recovery Plan. We believe the cost to the Treasury of not funding our recovery plan will be vastly higher than doing so. It risks high levels of unemployment in West Yorkshire and wiping out the benefits of two decades’ growth, causing untold long-term damage on the lives and livelihoods of people from every community in our region.
“We need to think about how to support people into new jobs and build skills for the kinds of roles that will be in demand after the pandemic. As a Combined Authority and the LEP, we are focusing on skills as one of the most powerful ways to recover from the pandemic. We are investing £13.5 million of our own hard-won devolution money into a skills programme to support thousands of people right across the region into work. Everyone deserves the means and opportunity to train and get on in life.”
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:
“The £7.4m announced to help develop our transport plans, including a new mass transit system for West Yorkshire, is a welcome step forward. Our public engagement on these plans is underway and I would urge everyone to take their opportunity to shape the final proposals we will put forward to the Government for our submission to the £4.2bn Intra-City Transport Fund.
“It was disappointing that in a Budget setting the course for the UK’s recovery that there was no commitment to the delivery of HS2 in full, Northern Powerhouse Rail with a new line connecting Leeds and Manchester through Bradford City Centre and the full upgrade of the Transpennine line, which are critical to our region’s long-term future. I hope the Government will use the forthcoming Integrated Rail Plan to give certainty to these projects.
“Improving transport connections, particularly for our most disadvantaged communities, will be key to accelerating our region’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and we need clarity from Government on the future funding of bus services as support provided through the pandemic is withdrawn.”