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VIDEO: Cabinet meeting held in Bradford
Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg with Bradford Bulls chairman Peter Hood at Odsal
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Prime Minister David Cameron, Bradford Bulls Chairman Peter Hood and Foreign Secretary William Hague arrive for the Cabinet meeting
Looking relaxed and smiling, Prime Minister David Cameron and his deputy Nick Clegg arrived in Bradford for the coalition government's first meeting outside of London.
The pair arrived at around 11.30am at the Grattan Stadium, home of the Bradford Bulls in Odsal, accompanied by the other MPs who make up the Tory-Liberal Democrat government.
Security was high at the site of the meeting, which was shrouded in secrecy prior to the arrival of the Government this morning.
Mr Cameron carried a brown file with the day's agenda in it while Mr Clegg favoured a red one.
Mr Cameron and his cabinet will later tour the region, which was chosen to host this historic first cabinet meeting because of its industrial heartlands.
Local Government Minister Eric Pickles, a former Bradford Council leader, said too much wealth and prosperity has been focused on the south and other parts of the country have been neglected and left behind.
For every private sector job created in the North and Midlands, ten were created in the South, he said.
Speaking to the Telegraph & Argus, Mr Pickles said: “Today I am attending the Coalition Cabinet’s first meeting outside London to discuss how we can reopen Britain for business. "As a home town lad and former councillor in Bradford I know its local jobs that matter most. Every corner of Britain is just as important as London and the South East.”
The cabinet will discuss ways of using local knowledge to develop local enterprise, support local business and promote prosperity.
Mr Pickles said: “That’s a far more effective and sustainable way of promoting national economic growth than by Government prescription.”
He added: “This focus on private enterprise will particularly help places that have been dependent on the public sector for too long. Bradford needs that new approach now. The numbers claiming job seekers allowance in the area has gone up by almost two per cent since 2008 and it employs a higher percentage of public sector workers than Yorkshire or England.
“That is why things like super-fast broadband for Low Moor are so important for Bradford jobs and Bradford’s economy.”
Abolishing Yorkshire Forward will also spell an end to quangos ‘second-guessing’ the needs of local businesses, instead allowing a new partnership of leaders and business to work together to create a more flexible economic development that works for Bradford, Mr Pickles said.
The Cabinet will also unveil a regional growth fund to finance projects as part of a move intended to rebalance the economy and support regions like Bradford.
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