SHADOW Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves called for much greater local control over job creation schemes after meeting apprentices working on the new shopping centre taking shape in the centre of Bradford.
The Leeds West MP said the council had turned around the city centre development which was mothballed for six years and became known as the “hole in the ground.”
She was campaigning in the city ahead of Thursday’s local elections where the Labour minority administration needs to win just one additional seat to secure a majority on the council.
Workers on the Bradford Broadway scheme include young people helped to find jobs by a council programme, “Get Bradford Working”.
Labour has proposed handing over control of the Government’s national scheme to help people into jobs, the Work Programme, to local authorities.
“We know that local councils are better in touch with local businesses, local colleges and local people to deliver schemes that are more relevant to a local area.”
She added: “This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see rolled out nationally and we have got Labour councils around the country, including here in Bradford, who are already delivering schemes like the schemes that we would like to see nationally but we want the Government to be backing those schemes to provide the money and support.”
A report by MPs published today said that billions of pounds earmarked by the Government to support local economic growth had yet to reach projects. Ms Reeves said: “We want to devolve more power and give more powers to local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, to deliver the change that we really need to see in our region.
“The Government think that delivering HS2 is what is going to deliver more regionally balanced economic growth but HS2 is not going to arrive in Yorkshire until 2030-something.”