Mr Bradley, who is also Conservative leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, was elected to Parliament in 2017. He was chosen unopposed as the new chair of the APPG when the group met on Tuesday.
Priorities for the APPG this year include ensuring that as many county areas as possible benefit from county devolution deals through supporting the progression of the Levelling- up and Regeneration Bill currently before Parliament – and ensuring that the government agrees the first tranche of deals as soon as possible.
Mr Bradley was elected leader of Nottinghamshire County Council in May 2021.
“I am excited to get started as Chair of the County APPG. It’s a really important and interesting group for me to be engaged with, particularly due to my unique role as both the Member of Parliament for Mansfield and Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council.
“I’m looking forward to working with the APPG as we look at how we can focus on local and national issues around things like our devolution plans and social care reforms. It is critical the uncontroversial and pragmatic devolution measures contained in the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill get speedy approval. We need to get on and deliver devolution to our counties, and this Bill enables this.
“There’s tons to dig into and it’s another opportunity to tie local decision making with powers in Whitehall.”
Mr Bradley takes over from Waveney MP Peter Aldous, who has been chair of the APPG since 2015.
The APPG’s secretariat is provided by the County Councils Network (CCN).
Cllr Tim Oliver, Chairman of the County Councils Network, said:
“I am delighted that we have such a passionate advocate for county areas elected as the new Chair of the County APPG. I look forward to progressing the county devolution agenda with him over the coming years, and on ensuring that the current Levelling-Up and Regeneration Bill, which crystallises many of the powers and structures that will be a game-changer for county areas, receives Parliamentary approval.
“I would like to pay tribute to Peter Aldous, whose tenure saw the APPG have a prominent voice in the fair funding debate, as well as producing several significant reports and research.”
As well as devolution, levelling-up, and fair funding, another major priority for the APPG will be focusing on ensuring that the forthcoming adult social care reforms were fully-costed by government and counties received their fair share of funding. Due to be implemented next October, research from the County Councils Network (CCN) reveals that the costs of these reforms could be £10bn higher than current estimates in the decade after they are introduced.
At yesterday’s meeting Rosie Cooper, who is Labour MP for West Lancashire was elected the APPG’s vice chair, as was Paul Howell, the Conservative MP for Sedgefield and Liberal Democrat Peer, Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville
The County APPG aims to consider the issues and challenges faced by county areas and their communities, and seeks to raise awareness of these matters in Parliament. In the past few years, the APPG has released influential reports on social mobility, broadband, and public transport in county areas.
The APPG will launch its next enquiry later this year.
Notes to editor