A NEW “Council of the North” designed to steer the Northern Powerhouse should include political and business leaders from Warrington, according to the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).
ICE – one of the UK’s leading chartered institutions, which advises government on infrastructure and construction policy – says devolution of power on some issues needs to happen if the Northern Powerhouse is to really drive economic growth and bring jobs and prosperity to the North of England.
Darrell Matthews, North West regional director of ICE said: “To turn the Northern Powerhouse into reality we believe we need a ‘Council of the North’, and it must truly represent the North. It needs people from Warrington Borough Council and the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership to help make it properly representative and bring in the right experience and business knowledge.
“We need the whole of the North working together on a properly co-ordinated strategy, to make sure parts of the region don’t get left behind. And we want the Council for the North to have the power to borrow and raise cash to help pay for the top-class infrastructure we need to improve opportunity and quality of life for people in the North. That means co-operating to make sure we have the transport networks, the housing and the digital infrastructure we need.
“Warrington and the North should be driving Britain’s economic growth, not chasing it.”
ICE has presented a new report “Delivering a Northern Infrastructure Strategy” to the metro mayors for Liverpool, Manchester and Tees Valley, making a number of recommendations including the creation of a Council of the North, with representation from Local Enterprise Partnerships, metro mayors and leaders of local authorities to oversee the delivery of the Northern Powerhouse vision.
Picture: Liverpool Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram ICE North West regional director Darrell Matthews.