Lib Dems call for urgent action to save Northern Powerhouse

Following the publication today of a major report tnorthern-powerhousehat suggests the Northern Powerhouse could be just ‘smoke and mirrors’, Liberal Democrats have called for the government to be frank and honest with the North West region about its future plans.

Cllr Mark Hunter, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem group on Stockport Council and a deputy portfolio holder on the GM Combined Authority, said he was concerned that the whole Northern Powerhouse project could be dead in the water following the fall out from the EU referendum.

“David Cameron and George Osborne were the prime architects of this policy. With them both likely to depart their respective roles in government, there is now a huge question mark about its future,” said Mark.

“After the Referendum vote, we are already seeing foreign investors pull back from the North. Should the widely-predicted economic slump come about, there will be less money for the Government to invest too.”

Cllr Hunter fears a double-whammy of weak leadership and a weak economy will kill the Northern Powerhouse project before its even got out of the starting blocks.

“Where we should have clear policy we have a massive void. In my view, the wider support among Conservative MPs for the whole Northern Powerhouse concept was only ever skin deep. Without the influential backing of both Cameron and Osborne, there must be huge doubt about political support from the government moving forward.

“This would be a good time for Conservative MPs in the North West to speak up for our region and to re-iterate their support for this important project – without it, we stand to lose millions in potential investment at the very time our fragile economic recovery is, thanks to Brexit, once again under threat,” said Cllr Hunter.

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