Jo Blogs

Jo blogs... 3 July 2014

03 Jul 2014

Cities and job creation have certainly been dominating the political debate this week. I'm not going to wade into the disagreement over statistics, but I do think it is important that the need for economic growth is seen across the country. I was pleased that Brendan Sarsfield, CEO of Family Mosaic and Chair of the G15, highlighted that London needed an economically vibrant North to help at the CIH conference in Manchester recently.

How to stimulate economic growth and revitalise cities was also the subject of discussion at the recent member engagement session we held with Bruce Katz. It was fascinating to hear his views on how he and colleagues in the Obama transition team saw the challenge they faced to create the "next economy" and how he saw an opportunity, as central government retrenched for cities, to "pull responsibility down".

We at the Northern Housing Consortium are exploring this in more detail, particularly as we approach the General Election in 2015. We all want the North to be seen as a place to invest in success, and I look forward to engaging with you as to how we can achieve this - what do we need devolved from Central Government, what can we do ourselves (and what is holding us back) and what can we achieve with true collaborative working. Obviously not all the elements from the American experience are transferable, but listening to Bruce and reading this NHC paper on other approaches to city growth has certainly given me food for thought.

However, cities aren't the only game in town - sometimes a "village" is the perfect size and I was really pleased to see so many members visit our village in the CIH exhibition hall. The team and our procurement partners do work exceptionally hard in delivering the Village, and I hope you found it useful to discuss your procurement and efficiency needs and, of course, network with colleagues old and new. Hopefully those of you who did come also spotted our 40th birthday balloons. The Consortium has been going strong for 40 years and I hope you agree is as relevant today as ever. Many thanks for all your support over the last four decades, and here?s to many more!

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