Outside the marginals

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

Archive for the tag “Leeds”

Seeing the light?

I have to admit to a degree of surprise. Who might have said this?

… the cities in the North of England were individually strong but were “collectively not strong enough

He said that in the past few decades giant global cities, such as London, had emerged – and that the string of northern cities, with better transport links and careful planning, could take them on and be “greater than the sum of their parts”.  …

it was not “healthy for our economy, not good for our country” if “the powerhouse of London dominates more and more”. …

“We need an ambitious plan to make the cities and towns here in this northern belt radically more connected from east to west – to create the equivalent of travelling around a single global city.

“I want us to start thinking about whether to build a new high-speed rail connection east-west from Manchester to Leeds.”
BBC News Website 23 June 2014 : High-speed rail link needed to boost north – xxxxxxx

A Clue? … Well, it’s a Tory. A very senior Tory – in office

More? … It’s a Tory who is tight with our money and believes in Austerity Read more…

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English Devolution – Identity and Viability

On Democratic Audit Ellie Geddes of IPPR argues that the north of England should take the opportunity to make the case for a degree of devolution and range of powers, concluding.

Whatever the outcome of September’s referendum, it is likely that Scotland will get further powers through some form of greater devolution. There is no doubt that the United Kingdom is evolving and the devolution agenda is coming to the forefront. If the north of England is ever to get its voice heard and gain control over its own affairs, ensuring it is not left behind, now is the time for it to speak up and be noticed.

This raises important issues of identity and viability. Read more…

HS2: This service is running late or cancelled

That well know “supporter” of public investment the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has weighed in against HS2 (The High Speed Rail proposal to drag Birmingham kicking and screaming into the South East) arguing that it is going to cost far too much.

“The evidence is now overwhelming that this will be unbelievably costly to the taxpayer while delivering incredibly poor value for money,” he said.

“It’s shameful that at a time of such financial difficulty for many families, the government is caving in to lobbying from businesses, local councils and self-interested politicians more concerned with winning votes than governing in the national interest.”

The institute said the policy may have been partly followed to win votes in “response to poor electoral performance in the north of England in recent elections”.

And it said money would be better spent on more “commercially viable” road, rail and transport projects “not requiring support from the taxpayer”
BBC Website 18 August 2013: HS2 ‘could cost taxpayer £80bn’

I also think it will be costly (very) but there are more important reasons for not proceeding with the current proposals. Read more…

HS2: Northern Section – TBA

Today’s announcement (gov.uk 29 January 2013) is being promoted as “joining the north”, “solving the North-South Divide”.

I suppose it is to be welcomed (even if it will not open until 2032-33 – twenty years time!) but it does expose a rather London-centric view of the country. The Geography is dodgy and the topography of the line is also a give-away. Read more…

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