Posted by on August 8, 2017 at 11:23 am

Professor Brendan Evans

Emeritus Professor of Politics Brendan Evans writes a response to a previous blog on View from the North written by Professor Colin Bamford and says while he agrees with Professor Bamford’s  overall analysis, the Northern Powerhouse isn’t just to be focused on Yorkshire, as Professor Bamford suggests.

“It is hard to dissent from Professor Bamford’s recent analysis in View from the North that the much vaunted Northern Powerhouse is deteriorating into the Northern Poorhouse. He provides all the detail on the comparative investment in transport between London and the North of England to prove his assertion that little is being done to re-balance the British economy between North and South.

Where his argument can be challenged is his Yorkshire focus and his plea for more investment in this region. Yet the clue to the original Northern Powerhouse comes in the word ‘Northern’. What is required is cross-northern pressure and lobbying to solve what is a northern problem.

The remedy lies in a more effective northern political action, even if it means allowing some leadership role to Manchester, which has been markedly more successful to date in gaining benefits from central government, than has Yorkshire or Leeds.

The potency of the North as a region is far greater than that of Yorkshire in isolation and it should act accordingly. By all means let people in Yorkshire enjoy their identity but that should not detract from adopting a more pan-northern economic and political strategy to rectify the decline that Yorkshire, the North-West and North-East are collectively suffering.

Many of the projects requiring more investment, particularly an enhanced east-west rail link across the north and a trans-pennine road link, will be to the benefit the entire northern region. If the north can achieve equity with London and the south, then that is the time for arguments about dividing up what would be a bigger cake between the sub-regions as Yorkshire and the Humber.”

You can read Professor Bamford’s blog here.

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