Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, gave his backing to Ben Bradley MP for the position of East Midlands Mayor. Mr Gove announced his support during the recent Local Government Association conference in Harrogate.
During the conference, Michael Gove also gave his backing to ensuring the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill receives Royal Assent by the end of the year. This is required in order for the £1.14 billion East Midlands Devolution Deal to be finalised.
Mr Gove stated ‘It's no surprise that I hope that it is [levelling up bill passed) so that we can have a brilliant conservative mayor in the East Midlands called Ben Bradley.’
The position of East Midlands Mayor has been created as part of the revolutionary East Midlands Devolution Deal, covering Derbyshire, Derby, Nottinghamshire and Nottingham. Ben Bradley in both his roles as Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and as MP for Mansfield, was instrumental in achieving this deal which is set to bring over a £1 billion to the region.
As part of the role, the East Midlands Mayor will have significant powers over planning, skills training, transport and other areas. Crucially, the East Midlands Mayor will also act as a focal point for businesses wanting to invest in the East Midlands.
Commenting, Ben Bradley stated:
‘I recently declared my intention to run for the position of East Midlands Mayor because I see the role as key to delivering the Levelling Up agenda and further developing our region. As such, receiving the backing of the Levelling Up Secretary of State really is a real boost to my campaign and shows I have made the right decision.’
‘I have worked really closely with Michael for a number of years on progressing the Levelling Up project in the East Midlands and particularly in Mansfield. Through my work with Michael, I’ve not only helped secure the East Midlands Devolution deal but also tens of millions for Mansfield through both the Towns Deal and Levelling Up Fund as well as progressing our freeports and STEP Fusion project in North Nottinghamshire.’
‘I know just how important the role of East Midlands Mayor will be to improving the lives of people in the East Midlands and I know I can make a difference if I am lucky enough to be elected to the role.’