Northern Futures Project

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Deputy Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 24th March 2015.

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Photo of Nick Clegg Nick Clegg The Deputy Prime Minister , Lord President of the Council (Privy Council Office), Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Leader of the Liberal Democrats 11:30 am, 24th March 2015

Before I turn to my answer, I am sure that I speak on behalf of the whole House in saying how shocked I am to have heard about the very serious air accident that appears to have happened in the Alps in the last couple of hours, with the reported very large loss of life. I am sure that the thoughts and prayers of everybody in all parts of the House are with the families and friends of those who were on board.

Northern Futures has been a great success. It has helped us to engage thousands of people across the country in a debate about how we rebalance the economy and has helped to generate the political consensus needed to tackle the over-centralisation of power in Whitehall. Specifically, it paved the way for more than £7 billion of much needed road and rail investment announced in the autumn statement and for a set of radical decentralisation deals with Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds.