EAST Lancashire peer Lord Tony Greaves has urged the government to move power from Whitehall to local councils and communities to revive the industrial towns of the north.

The Liberal Democrat Pendle councillor raised the issue with local government minister Viscount Younger at Westminster.

Lord Greaves asked him: “What plans do you have to enhance the economies of former industrial and mining towns and villages in the north.

“We are not the major regional centres, such as Newcastle, Leeds and Manchester, but there ​are hundreds of such places. They are the towns around, the areas on the edge, the places in between. We need the resources, powers and, often, new infrastructure to tackle problems such as transport and flooding. Our futures cannot be successfully micromanaged from Whitehall or even from the large cities.

“Do you understand the local successful futures of these areas must be firmly in the hands of local councils, local people, local organisations and local businesses? Local control, will let a thousand democratic local flowers bloom.”

Viscount Younger replied: “We are committed to levelling up regions and supporting communities in former industrial and mining towns in the north of England.

“The Government is providing funding to towns through the £3.6 billion towns fund and the future high streets fund. The north will also benefit from an array of national funding pots.The details locally are coming through such the redevelopment of the Brierfield Mill, which will see it changed into a mixed-use leisure, learning and community destination, known as Northlight.”