Metro mayors call for government backing to help get city regions building

Metro mayors from across the country are once again calling on the government to review the way in which funding for new housing is allocated.

The move comes as Conservative and Labour mayors put politics to one side and team together to call on the government to review the funding formulae for housing so that regions outside London and the South East do not lose out and the UK economy as a whole becomes more balanced. It’s argued that investment in housing will have the potential to “unlock productivity growth” for the entire UK. 

The meeting yesterday was hosted by the West Midlands representative Andy Street as Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram, Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen and West of England mayor Tim Bowles signed the letter calling for more government support and investment.

The document identifies needs that each region has and pinpoints the importance of regenerating brownfield sites which lay derelict in most.

The West Midlands mayor said: “Because we each represent and work with several local authorities, we can provide the co-ordination and direction to accelerate the building of homes in our respective areas. But that requires government to provide the investment and powers so that we can deliver the new homes our regions and the country need. We all have brownfield sites which have been derelict for years, and we need the financial muscle of government to get them moving. We stand ready to get the diggers fired up, and build the homes we desperately need."

In the letter to the prime minister, the mayors committed to:

  • Working with local authorities on joint plans for housing, transport and jobs
  • Increasing housing delivery rates
  • Regeneration of brownfield sites
  • Developing construction skills for the future
  • Drive innovation and productivity in the housebuilding construction sector

Commenting on the letter, Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “The very fact that mayors from different parts of the country, and different political parties, are coming together to demand a fairer distribution of public resources should send a strong signal to the government. For too long, investment in transport and housing has been skewed towards London and the south east. We urgently need to change that so we can rebalance the country’s economy and build the new homes we need to ease the housing crisis.”

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