A MINISTER will be charged with ensuring major cities can boom again – more than a year after David Cameron first promised to appoint Ministers to represent the needs of Yorkshire’s economic powerhouses.
Greg Clark, already a Minister in the Department of Communities and Local Government, has been given the added responsibility of Minister for Cities as the Government focuses on how the likes of Leeds and Sheffield can become more successful.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will also chair a group of Ministers looking at what new ideas could support the economic growth of cities and look at the impact of existing policies.
The move comes about 14 months after the Prime Minister used his first economic speech – in Shipley – to promise a team of Ministers each representing different cities after abolishing the raft of Regional Ministers created by Labour.
Mr Clegg said: “The Minister for Cities will champion the economic, social and environmental role of cities. He will be the first point of contact in understanding the challenges and opportunities for cities in creating growth and prosperity across the country.
“I look forward to working with Greg and the rest of the Ministerial Group on Cities to take forward this agenda, and identify solutions to support our city leaders in driving future development and prosperity.”
Mr Clark, who is making a speech in Leeds today at the launch of a think tank review into how the economy of the north can succeed, will report to Business Secretary Vince Cable.
The Cabinet Office said Ministers will initially look at the eight largest cities outside London, which includes Leeds and Sheffield and their surrounding areas before turning to other cities.
Mr Clark will look at the needs of individual cities as well as identifying common issues to help the Government devise policy.