Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the category “North South Divide”

North East England is not Metropolitan

The mini devolution deal for North East (of England) is apparently in danger of running out of time.

In a letter sent to the councils which make up the North East Combined Authority, and which has been seen by the BBC, Mr Javid said: “I reaffirm the government’s commitment to implementing the North East devolution deal in full.

“[However] without an elected mayor the deal cannot progress.

“There is a significant risk now that we will run out of time to implement the deal unless you publish your governance review and scheme, and move forward with the consultation immediately.”
BBC News Website, 26 August 2016 | North East devolution delay ‘risks £900m investment’

Why does an area that includes two conurbations (Newcastle-Gateshead-Tyneside and Sunderland-Washington) and a huge rural area (Northumberland and Durham) need an elected mayor to manage transport, skills and training? The LEPs (remember them?) where set up by the Conservatives to address issues that included skills and training. Read more…

Update: Reconnecting in the North East of England

The B6344 at Rothbury was closed on 26 December 2012 after it cracked in four places and slid towards the river.

Deemed “highly unstable”, it has been closed since and will remain shut until at least August 2015.
BBC News Website 26 December 2013: Landslip-hit Rothbury road: ‘Life goes on’ for community

Well August 2015 came and went. So what happened today deserving an update? Read more…

Running away from a Runaway Problem

So the Tories have bottled it; they won’t make a decision about the next London runway until after the mayoral elections.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said the government would “continue to work on all shortlisted locations”.

A decision had previously been expected by the end of this year.

An independent report on airport expansion by Sir Howard Davies in July backed a plan to build a third runway at Heathrow.

But he said that the new runway should come with severe restrictions to reduce the environmental and noise effects, and did not completely rule out a second runway at Gatwick.
BBC New Website, 10 December 2015 : Heathrow Airport runway decision delayed until summer

The decision is actually easy – if you are not frightened politically. Read more…

Massive boost to rail services brings Northern Powerhouse to life

Duh, have I missed something?

To sustain “our” capital city, London gets:

  1. HS1 (to link to the continent – onward links North were abandoned years ago)
  2. HS2 (to bring commuters in from the South Midlands)
  3. Crossrail 1 (to link East West)
  4. Crossrail 2 (to link North South)
  5. Various improvements/extensions to London Underground
  6. Mega-laneing of the M25
  7. Heathrow 3 (or some equivalent once Dave has got his inconveniently anti-Heathrow mayor installed in City Hall)

In the North we are to believe that the Northern Poorhouse will be “brought to life” by a “massive boost to rail services”. This must mean new tracks, high-speed lines (HS62/HS3?) “connecting the Great Cities of the North”, new high-speed trains, better stations,  …

Er, No. This Government Website Headline is more like a Tory Central Office Propaganda headline. Read more…

Whatever it costs (2)

Our dear Prime Minister was deeply concerned about the flooding in the Thames Valley around Oxfordshire (where his constituency is), Buckinghamshire and Berkshire (where Theresa May’s constituency is).

Money is no object in this relief effort. Whatever money is needed we will spend it.
BBC News Website 11 February 2014: UK floods: PM says money ‘no object’ in relief effort

Nice to know (then); what about now? Read more…

President Gideon and Lame Duck Dave

Listening to our future leader on the Andrew Marr Show (BBC1 22 November 2015) it strikes me that we (the UK) have a very odd national political leadership.

The Chancellor is becoming increasingly Presidential speaking on all sorts of matters and appearing in photo-opportunities such as in GCHQ and in various provinces as “their leaders” sign up to his preferred mayoral (presidential) form of local government.

The Prime Minister seems to be increasingly irrelevant as he puts his remaining energies into his final tilt at the European windmill.

Is this just an extreme version of the always difficult relationship between the Prime Minister and “his chancellor”? I think not. Read more…

A1 closed overnight for resurfacing work

This needs wide knowledge given that the A1 (a.k.a. The Great North Road) is such a major road.

The Highways Agency said the stretch between Fenwick and West Mains crossroads will be closed between 20:00 and 06:00 GMT.

Traffic lights and diversions will be in place while the work is carried out.

The Agency said the work was essential and apologised for the inconvenience to motorists. No date for the completion of the resurfacing has been given.
BBC News website, 9 November 2015 : A1 at Fenwick closed overnight for resurfacing work

Read more…

Gideon’s Dictionary: Powerhouse

Every emperor, or prospective emperor, has to give the appearance of having “the common touch”. In view of the restricted background of our potential new emperor, I offer him a dictionary in the hope that studying it will help him understand the people he wishes to rule.


Read more…

A1 overnight works: single carriageway working

I think it should be widely known:

Motorists are being warned they face nightly disruption while resurfacing work is carried out …
[The A1] will be reduced to a single carriageway while work is carried out, between 18:00 and 06:00 with traffic lights in place.
BBC News Website, 28 September 2015 : A1 roadworks to lead to delays

Read more…

The Worst of all Worlds?

The “decision” about airport capacity for London seems to offer the worst of all worlds.

London currently has four main runways (two at Heathrow and one each at Gatwick and Stanstead). This compares to nine runways across New York’s main airports. London Heathrow is “at capacity” with (according to the Economist) 130 million passengers a year passing through the London three (compared to 114 million passing through the New York three).

The “decision” recommended by the Davies Commission is that one more runway should be built in the Heathrow area to the North West of the existing airport. (Just south of the M4 and over the M25 – between Harmondsworth and Colnbrook). This is coupled with severe restrictions on night flying and a legislative ban on further runways at Heathrow.

Does this solve the problem? Read more…

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