The Northern Powerhouse was a phrase coined by David Cameron’s Conservative Government to announce new measures; to redress the balance between the prosperous South East and the poor relation in the North of England. This same campaign was enthusiastically supported by the then Chancellor George Osborne; and it seemed to be aimed very much at Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield.
Part of the Northern Powerhouse campaign was the introduction of a Mayor for Greater Manchester. Someone who would have the power over large budgets for the City and the surrounding area. The Mayor of Manchester in the original proposal would have £3.4Bn in finances for growth, a £70m targeted schools budget and £13Bn for transport infrastructure.
We are presently in the honeymoon period for the Manchester area’s Northern Powerhouse dream; and are in the hands of the Labour Mayor Andy Burnham. Mr Burnham’s leadership experience is limited to his short time in roles as Secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport and Secretary of State for Health under Gordon Brown. Following his failed bid to become leader of the Labour Party he set his sights firmly on the position of Manchester Mayor and won with a significant majority, unsurprisingly. An absolute must for him is to lead the way and fly the flag for the Northern Powerhouse.