How civic leadership is transforming Bradford – The Yorkshire Post says

SUSAN HINCHCLIFFE and Stephanie Burras are emblematic of the public and private sector leaders who are putting Bradford on the national – even international – map for the best of reasons.

Susan Hinchcliffe is the leader of Bradford Council.

The former is the forward-thinking leader of Bradford Council who is making sure her city is integral to the Northern Powerhouse; the latter is CEO of the Ahead Partnership and leading a skills programme that is transforming the future prospects of young people.

And while their backgrounds are very different – Ms Burras was once a junior member of Sir Elton John’s legal team during a high-profile court case – it is their pro-activism, and that of others, which is making such a difference.

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Stephanie Burras is CEO of the Ahead Partnership.

In some parts of the country, local authority leaders would – after a decade of austerity – bemoan their fate and wait for the Government to provide the answers. Yet they, and others, know that it doesn’t work like this, hence the decision to put skills at the centre of economic policy.

It is beginning to pay off – even though Bradford does remain at a funding disadvantage compared to the South – and a new-found pride in the city, and opportunities being created, is discernible.

Like Hull which is also enjoying a resurgence, this is down, in no small part, to more enlightened and energetic civic leadership. And while the challenges – social and economic – remain immense, a firm and early commitment from the Government to include Bradford on the main phase of Northern Powerhouse Rail would be a priceless vote of confidence in a city that is going places.