North East Labour MPs and candidates today (Thursday 26 Feb) set out their stall to get the Region back on track to prosperity - within the European Community - and restore the funding needed to meet the needs of local people.
Hundreds of millions of pounds have been moved away from the Region to other parts of the country ignoring the very specific needs of the North East which continues to make the transition from heavy industries to a more diverse economy and from some highest unemployment and deprivation levels in the UK to a better life for all.
The group have set out a dozen priorities for the next Government which they believe are essential if the Region is to regain the momentum lost since the current Government came to power in 2010.
- Secure fair funding based on the needs of our people
- A living wage for people throughout the Region
- Development of sector based industrial strategies to help industry clusters work better together and build local supply chains
- The creation of a National Investment Bank to better serve the Region
- Significant investment in the road network and regulation of bus services to alleviate congestion and improve access to employment
- Improvement to our rail system with modern trains to better serve our industries and people
- Development of our regional ports and airports to encourage better international connectivity and boost investment
- A regional tourism strategy to bring back more visitors
- Our employers, colleges and universities working closer together to develop the skills we need
- A careers and guidance service that informs our young people of the vast choices available to them as they plan their future
- Greater devolution of decision making and funding to Combined Local Authorities working with Local Enterprise Partnerships and a Regional Minister
- A secure future within the European Union
Helen Goodman MP for Bishop Auckland and Chair of the Group said:
“We want to see our Region thrive again and believe our plan covering everything from fair funding and a National Investment Bank to improved rail, road and airport infrastructure and many more decisions taken in the North East, will do that.
“We do not however underestimate the size of the challenge and believe only with national and local politicians, business and industry, colleges and universities and others working together, can we succeed in exploiting the talents of our people and provide them and their families with the future they are entitled to.”