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11 November, 2019

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Devolution still on the cards for Cheshire?

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Henry Brooks, managing director of the Tatton Group, has backed proposals for devolved powers for the Cheshire and Warrington region.

The plans have been encouraged by Northern Powerhouse Partnership board member Lord Jim O’Neill, in a statement during the launch of a new paper discussing devolution ‘Devolution for the North – One Year On’.

In his briefing, Lord O’Neill suggested that the government should consider devolving powers to the Cheshire and Warrington Devolution region.

It is envisaged that a deal would give the area more powers over issues such as planning and skills, alongside an elected mayor, in line with the Greater Manchester devolution deal signed by former chancellor George Osborne in 2014.

At the event, hosted by the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, minister for the Northern Powerhouse Jake Berry welcomed Lord O’Neill’s comments, noting that devolution would be a boost to Cheshire and Warrington’s existing expertise in areas including life sciences.

Home to large automotive, energy and science clusters, Cheshire and Warrington is one of the most successful economic areas in the UK.

It is believed that a devolution deal could help unlock the full potential of the area – as well as the Northern Powerhouse – playing a key role in delivering inclusive growth.

Commenting on the announcement, Mr Brooks said: “Cheshire and Warrington is the gateway to the Northern Powerhouse; it is the glue that joins the great city regions of Manchester and Liverpool.

“As a successful northern economy, this is an opportunity to create even greater opportunities for current and future generations.

“Local people know best regarding what we need as a community and devolution will help to ensure that investment, such as in rural broadband, rail and roads, happens in the right place.

“We commend the Northern Powerhouse Partnership for today making these announcements and support the comments made by the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry. We look forward to urgently hearing similarly strong commitment from other Government departments about these plans.” 

The Northern Powerhouse Partnership (NPP) is an independent body which represents the voice of business and civic leaders from across the North.

The partnership is chaired by George Osborne and vice chair Lord Jim O’Neill, former commercial secretary to the Treasury.

It has a business-led board which features influential figures from across the North of England. It is non-political and promises to maintain an all-party approach.

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