Heseltine is right. Give City Regions more powers to pick winners.

Michael Heseltine’s report published yesterday argues for more powers to be devolved to Councils and City Regions, like Manchester, and more “picking winners” in business to help growth.

I welcome his report, because the devolution of power is something the Liberal Democrats believe in, and something I have been talking about for some time. It is also, to be fair, something that has been delivered by Government to Greater Manchester.

I blogged in March about how the City Deal was, according to Manchester Chief Executive Sir Howard Bernstein, a “game-changer”

Sir Howard said,

“We’ve been working on gaining more powers from central Government for over a decade, and pushing for better connectivity for years. So these two budget announcements provide great news for Manchester, and I’d like to thank all those who have persevered and worked so tenaciously to get us to this day – it is a game-changer for the city.”

In April, I blogged about the need for Government to allow local businesses to be the catalyst for creating local jobs.

In October, I talked about how the Green Deal will help create new Manchester jobs

And earlier this week, Energy and Climate Change Secretary of State Ed Davey was in Manchester to announce a collective energy scheme across Greater Manchester.

On the issue of picking winners, again, local knowledge is the key to maximising growth and jobs. The Government should be devolving more powers to enabling Councils and City Regions to make more of the decisions that will help create more jobs in Manchester.

And for highlighting these issues, Lord Heseltine deserves our thanks.


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