With an upcoming general election on December 12, newspapers across the North have called for an end to economic neglect in the area. On November 7, news titles from the Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Reach, JPI and Newsquest published the ‘Manifesto for the North’, laying out “a common-sense blueprint for regional prosperity”.
The idea for the manifesto arose at the Convention for the North earlier this year, where all 11 Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships agreed to the need for a new political settlement. The former head of the civil service, Bob Kerslake’s UK2070 Commission also showed that the UK is the most politically centralised and regionally unbalanced country in the OECD.
Nigel Burton, Group Editor at Newsquest, said: “All the people of the North have ever asked for is a level playing field, but successive governments have paid lip service to the region and carried on pouring cash and resources into London and the South-East. We support this manifesto as a common-sense blueprint for regional prosperity. Give us a chance to show the rest of the country, and the world, what the North unleashed can really achieve.”
The five key areas of the Manifesto are: Local control of education, training , and skills; A formal treasury to rebalance the North/South economy; A transport budget for the North to deliver on all key objectives; Freedom to export growth with greater investment; and investment for the North to lead the green industrial revolution.
The manifesto ran in print, including Manchester Evening News, Liverpool Echo, Newcastle Chronicle, Huddersfield Examiner and Hull Daily Mail, and online on LeedsLive, and LancsLive.
Roger Marsh OBE, Chair of the NP11, said: “Our region led the first Industrial Revolution and today it can become the crucible for the fourth – and first sustainable – industrial revolution, but only if we take critical action now.
“This Manifesto for the North sets out the direction that we need to take and marks the North coming together with one voice to tell the incoming Government what our ambition is for a thriving Northern Powerhouse.”