Northern powerhouse can help close wealth gap with the south

The Times 15 June 2015

“This is a revolution in the way we govern England,” said the chancellor, George Osborne, fresh from election victory, as he fleshed out plans for the northern powerhouse in a converted warehouse in Salford last month. “The old model of trying to run everything in our country from the centre of London is broken. It is time for you to take control of your own affairs,” he told the assembled group of dignitaries.

It was no coincidence that he was giving the speech in Greater Manchester, which last autumn won significant powers from Whitehall. As of 2017, Greater Manchester will get its own directly elected mayor with powers over transport, housing, planning and policing in a devolution deal worth more than £1 billion. The new mayor will also take charge of a £6 billion health and social care budget, meaning he or she will, in theory, have greater authority than the mayor of London.

The man largely credited with cutting the backroom deals …

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