‘More power for the north’ say lead­ers

Rochdale Observer - - NOSTALGIA - Char­lotte.cox@men-news.co.uk @ccox­men­media

THE bat­tle cry was ‘More power for ev­ery city in the north’, as lead­ers gath­ered at the Con­ven­tion of the North.

Bring­ing to­gether city and busi­ness chiefs as well as key fig­ures from the vol­un­tary sec­tor, there was a call for ‘a new, clean in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion’ – led by the north.

A dis­cus­sion panel in­clud­ing Greater Manch­ester Mayor Andy Burn­ham, Trans­port for the North’s (TfN) John Crid­land and former leader of New­cas­tle city coun­cil, Lord John Ship­ley, em­pha­sised the need to in­spire young peo­ple that they could have a pos­i­tive fu­ture in the re­gion, through bet­ter road and rail links, ed­u­ca­tion, skills, and a boosted econ­omy.

Mr Burn­ham said: “I want the whole of the north to have at least the same level of devo­lu­tion as Manch­ester be­cause when that hap­pens, when we’re side by side, we will be able to do so much more for our­selves.

He con­tin­ued: “I don’t want the north to be associated with de­cline any more.

“Can we have a north that’s associated with new in­dus­try rather than old in­dus­try, a con­glom­er­a­tion lead­ing the way for clean growth, dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy, health tech?

“Can that be our rep­u­ta­tion?

“Lead­ing the new in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manch­ester coun­cil, told our sis­ter pa­per the M.E.N. they needed to demon­strate to the gov­ern­ment about how things – in­clud­ing rail – would work bet­ter if the north had more power over de­ci­sions.

The con­ven­tion called for TfN to have more power over high­way up­grades, rail fran­chis­ing and Net­work Rail, so that north­ern lead­ers can choose up­grades are and when.

Through­out the day, which needed there was also talk of the ‘skint’ gov­ern­ment – and how the north should seek to ‘un­lock’ in­vest­ment from the ‘hun­dreds of bil­lions of pounds’ the pri­vate sec­tor was wait­ing to de­ploy.

●●Mayor of Greater Manch­ester, Andy Burn­ham was on the dis­cus­sion panel at the Con­ven­tion of the North in Gateshead

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.