Prime Minister David Cameron and members of the Cabinet have held their first meeting outside London since the formation of the coalition government
Ministers met at Bradford’s Grattan Stadium, home of the Bradford Bulls rugby club, in Yorkshire, to discuss issues such as creating the conditions for enterprise and growth in the regions, helping areas hardest hit by cuts and the Government’s strategy for economic growth.
A Downing Street spokesman said:
Following a presentation from two local businessmen about the challenges they face, the Cabinet had a long discussion about the importance of rebalancing the economy and generating private sector jobs, particularly in those regions more reliant on the public sector.
The Cabinet agreed that action to support growth should be given the same priority as action to deal with the deficit. This would mean providing the right conditions for the private sector to grow, for example, by removing unnecessary regulation and supporting new businesses through a NICs holiday and - crucially - by ensuring bank lending is available for businesses to invest.
Following the meeting, the PM took part in a live interview with Real Radio Yorkshire, where he took questions on topics such as the Budget, welfare reform and the steel industry.
He told listeners that the Cabinet was being held in Yorkshire because “it’s a vital region of the country” and “it’s good to get politicians out of the Westminster bubble”.
Listen to the Real Radio interview
Later, he hosted his first PM Direct Q&A session at Leeds Trinity University College with readers of the Yorkshire Post.
Listen to PM Direct
Other members of the Cabinet also took part in a variety of events and visits in Yorkshire today. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg launched a £1 billion Regional Growth Fund to help areas and communities particularly at risk of being affected by public spending cuts.
Mr Clegg, Business Secretary Vince Cable and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles also set out plans for local enterprise partnerships that will bring together councils and businesses on an equal footing with one voice, replacing the current Regional Development Agencies.