Local Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has reacted with caution over Government announcements that Greater Manchester will receive £130.1m as part of the northern strategy.
Although the Government says its investment in the North in previous years has led to a revival, independent figures have shown that regions across all areas of the North, including Greater Manchester, still lag behind areas in the south of the country – including London.
Research found that only two of the fastest growing towns and cities in England are in the North, with Manchester the highest ranked in sixth place for growth behind towns such as Cambridge, Milton Keynes and London. (1)
An economic review into the Northern Powerhouse commissioned by Transport for the North warned that the North receives disproportionately less than London and the South East in terms of transport spend. (2)
New Office for National Statistic (ONS) figures show that, in terms of transport the Government will spend more on those in London and the South-east regions than in the North by a factor of six to one. (3)
Andrew Gwynne said:
“Obviously any additional funding for Greater Manchester is to be welcomed, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the money they’ve cut from the area’s council budgets since 2010.
“I’m also very concerned that they have absolutely no plans on changing their transport funding at a time when they see fit to spend thousands per person in London and only £289 per head here in the North West. (4)
“Greater Manchester can be the dynamic growth engine the country needs; research by Northern Powerhouse leaders in June showed that if the right investment was made in infrastructure and transport that the northern regions could add 1.56m new jobs by 2050.”
“We all know how bad local transport can be across Audenshaw, Denton, Dukinfield and Reddish, and I’m frustrated that the Government simply doesn’t care. I do, and I’ll aggressively pursue the Ministers for a fairer transport and infrastructure settlement for this constituency and our wider city-region.”
3 Sources: HM Treasury (2016), National Infrastructure Pipeline Spreadsheet, Spring 2016 update; ONS (2016)
4 HM Treasury (2016), National Infrastructure Pipeline Spreadsheet, Spring 2016 update; ONS (2016) Subnational Population Projections for Local Authorities in England