Combined Authority responses to PM's speech at today's NP11 Convention of the North

Reaction to Boris Johnson's comments on devolution and rail in the North

13 September 2019

Responding to the Prime Minister’s speech at the Convention of the North with NP11 in Rotherham today, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and Leader of Bradford Council, said: “It is essential that any new body to promote growth across the Northern Powerhouse is led by the North, for the North and represents a significant shift of power and resources from Whitehall, complementing the work Transport for the North, NP11 and Combined Authorities are already doing to drive forward the Northern economy.

“The Prime Minister’s commitment to discuss interim devolution arrangements for the Leeds City Region is a step forward but we now need the Government’s actions to match his words so that we can quickly reach an agreement and accelerate our ambitions for transport, skills, tackling climate change and delivering growth which benefits all our communities.”

Reacting to the Prime Minister’s comments about rail in the North at today’s NP11 convention in Rotherham, Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Lead, said: “We look forward to the Williams Review clarifying how the Prime Minister’s commitment to local control of rail services will work in practice to the benefit of passengers, communities and business in our region and without introducing further fragmentation.

“We would welcome the opportunity to have a greater say in how local rail services are delivered but this significant responsibility must come with the associated powers and funding to address historic under-investment in the North’s rail network which as at the root of its current failings.”

Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (The LEP) and the NP11 said: “We welcome Government’s commitment to a new Northern Powerhouse growth body.  To ensure this will be wholly effective in placing our region front and centre of driving the UK’s post-Brexit growth, this must be a body that is truly of the north and for the north.” 

“As we have outlined today to Government, this new body’s first task must be to create and deliver upon a jointly agreed Northern Powerhouse Strategy – a Manifesto for the North which will set out clearly what the North is asking of its own people, as well as from Government to achieve its ambitions.”  

In his speech to the Convention, Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the LEP and Chair of the NP11, called for the North to be front and centre of Government’s plans for UK competitiveness and prosperity beyond Brexit at the Convention of the North with NP11.

Read Roger Marsh's speech in full.