Northern leaders came together today to call on Government to honour in full its commitments and to discuss how the North can be heard nationally.
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.
We are at a moment when major long-term decisions are about to be taken on transport and Brexit and this is the time for the North to come together, in an inclusive way, to ensure its voice is heard.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said: “If the North is to get the investment it has been promised - and fulfil its vast potential – we must come together, work together and speak with one voice. Today’s meeting was an important step towards achieving that. The North of England is getting organised and can no longer be ignored.”