Robert Jenrick has described the role as being the steward of local government.
Newark MP Robert Jenrick says it his job to get Britain building following his appointment as Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.
In an interview with the Advertiser shortly after his appointment (you can read the first part of the interview here), he said:
“To me, owning a home is much more than having a roof over your head, it is about saving and investing for the future.
“In Middlebeck, Fernwood and Beacon, people are buying their own new homes.
“If you don’t already live in one in the villages or towns like Southwell, buying there is out of reach unless you have a great deal of money — £400,000 is the Southwell average.
“Things have to change for the better.”
He described the role as being the steward of local government, ensuring parish councils to the Mayor of London could deliver on their objectives.
“I will be in charge of ensuring good quality local government services in all parts of the country and evening up the needs of the Midlands and the north where people feel neglected by Government for too long,” he said.
He will retain a focus on town centres and the high street and draw on the experiences of his constituency of Newark and Bingham.
“Our consumer needs are changing,” he said. “I will be making a real push for the high street.
“I want to see town centre homes and add to the high street’s vitality through the conversion of shops that are no longer useful into properties that young or old people can enjoy through the experience of living in town centres.”
Another element of his new role is building stronger communities,tackling race and hate crime, and anti-semitism.
Mr Jenrick praised the new Prime Minister, who he supported in the recent leadership election.
“I find him to be an extremely optimistic can-do person with the energy to govern after a period where politics appeared broken in its infrastructure.”
And on Brexit, he said: “We are and will be working flat out to achieve that from Whitehall to town hall, getting the whole of Government to deliver Brexit on the day of October 31, deal or no deal.”
Mr Jenrick said his new role would not be at the expense of constituency work.
“I am incredibly grateful to the people who put me in this position because they voted for me three times in elections.
“I can only sit around the Cabinet table and influence national policies because they put me here. I continue to take my constituency MP role very seriously.
“It is good for Newark to have a representative at the top table, particularly one leading a department which is focusing on the issues relevant to our area such as housing to local government to economic policy for the Midlands.”
Mr Jenrick has also been appointed as the Government’s lead on the Midlands Engine, where he will be working with its chairman Sir John Peace, of Caunton, on driving forward an initiative that looks to make the East and West Midlands an engine for growth for the UK economy.