London government won’t fool us until there’s genuine leveling out across the north: The Yorkshire Post says Yorkshire News

Shapps rightly welcomes the relocation of civil servants to cities like Leeds before suggesting that it is “tangible proof that government is no longer a London-centric organisation”.

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Effectively, this is an admission that the capital has exerted undue influence, one of the reasons social and economic inequalities in Britain run so deep.

More government departments are moving to cities like Leeds, says Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

In a thought-provoking intervention, Mr Shapps goes on to explain how ministers can expect to spend more time in regional hubs after Transport Minister Andrew Stephenson recently spent a successful week working from the DfT office in Leeds.

Once again, this is a positive step. But this approach will be derided as gesture politics if Yorkshire and the North do not receive the investment they need from Whitehall to increase productivity and transform the wider economy here.

And the more observant will notice the Minister’s phraseology when he cites “the Government’s determination to bring HS2 trains to Leeds”.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps (left) and Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden leave 10 Downing Street, London, following the weekly Government Cabinet meeting.

This is not the same as the full construction of the eastern section of HS2, as repeatedly promised by ministers such as Mr Shapps, before this plan was effectively put on hold for the long term by the Integrated Rail Plan.

However, although the IRP makes £96bn of funding available to the railways, there is still a confidence deficit to be overcome before this paper no longer feels compelled to refer to the “London Government” in these columns.

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Plans to build the eastern section from Leeds to HS2 have been scrapped.

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This notice was published: 2022-03-16 07:05:40

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