O’Neill resignation a “hammer blow” to Northern Powerhouse

northern-powerhouseStockport Lib Dem leader Cllr Iain Roberts has described the resignation of Government minister Jim O’Neill as a “hammer blow” to the Northern Powerhouse project.

O’Neill, an internationally respected economist, was one of two ministers driving the Northern Powerhouse forwards. He was brought up in Gatley, Stockport.

“It’s difficult to under-estimate just how much opposition there is in parts of Government to devolution and the Northern Powerhouse project,” Cllr Roberts said. “Without Osborne and O’Neill pushing, it would never have got off the ground. Now both are gone, there seems to be no-one fighting for the North and for Greater Manchester down in Westminster.”

The Liberal Democrats are calling for more powers to be passed down to local areas.

“We know the problems and we can do a better job than central government of fixing them,” Iain said. “But unless there’s a real and genuine commitment to the Northern Powerhouse from Government, it isn’t going to happen.”

The news has been reported by the Manchester Evening News here.

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