Following the successful Transport Summit in August, the Mayors and leaders of Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds, and the Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority have today called on the government to honour in full its commitments already given to the North of England on transport investment and, ahead of the Party conferences, have confirmed support for the work being undertaken by Transport for the North.
They also discussed the need to establish a body to provide a louder voice on a national and international stage to celebrate and promote the North of England. It will work constructively with government to get a fair share of investment for the North to deliver the Northern Powerhouse.
The body would be representative of the whole of the north including businesses, cross-party, civic, faith and community groups.
The intention is to consult widely across the North about the name and structure for the body, with the intention of Newcastle hosting a first meeting through a northern convention to take this forward during the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018.
There are key issues for such a body to advocate on behalf of the North of England.
Issues such as:
- The need for infrastructure investment, including in transport, to enable the north to fulfil its full economic potential;
- The need for the North of England to be represented around the Brexit negotiating table making the case for a balanced deal which recognises the economic needs and opportunities of the North as well as the City of London.
Steve Rotheram commented:
“This was another really positive gathering and strengthened the growing sense that we need to work more collaboratively to ensure the interests of our regions are forcefully presented within national political debate. The UK is simply too London-centric and we need to be inventive and determined if we are going to off-set its disproportionate influence and share of national resource.
“Bringing political, business and civic leaders together to help explore how best we can achieve this is an important, and probably overdue contribution, to the task of rebalancing both our politics and our economy.”