Recent media reports about the Prime Minister’s omission of the north east from his tweets about the government’s so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will come as no surprise to people in our region. It has been clear since the day and hour that the Chancellor announced this scheme that the north east was being overlooked by ministers who clearly think that the north stops at Leeds and Manchester.
And although over a hundred days have passed since the government came to power, we are yet to see any concrete proposals put forward for the scheme. James Wharton, Minister for the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’, has promised “very significant” investment in projects across the north of England in the next five years. He has neither indicated where these investments will be made nor where the money to fund them will come from. In fact, the only concrete step the government has taken to date is to announce a delay to the electrification of the TransPennine Express railway line – hardly a move consistent with the creation of an economic powerhouse.
I hope the Prime Minister will take note. The longer he and his government continue to ignore the north east the greater the damage will be. Recently published figures show that the region is continuing to suffer from high levels of unemployment and economic inactivity, especially among our young people. One in five people aged 16-24 are considered to be officially unemployed – a figure that has barely changed in five years. Even more worrying is the fact that almost 40% of people in this age group are considered economically inactive. That is a huge amount of young people detached from the economy being failed by this government. Young people are the future. If Ministers really want to unleash the economic potential of the north east they need to do much more to help them get into work.
The government should be focusing its energies on helping local people get the skills, training and opportunities they need to get into work instead of attention grabbing gimmickry. But the exclusion of the north east from ‘Northern Powerhouse’ tweets just confirms what we have long suspected – that this is nothing more than empty branding from a Prime Minster who has little interest in our region or ambition to harness the great potential of our people.
Recent media reports about the Prime Minister’s omission of the north east from his tweets about the government’s so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ will come as no surprise to people in our...
We have recently moved to a new constituency office in Houghton town centre. Unfortunately, our telephone number has now changed to 0191 584 4317. If you dial our previous office number, you will hear a message requesting you to redial using the new number below.
New telephone number:
0191 584 4317
106 Newbottle Street
Houghton le Spring
I can also be contacted by email and through this website as normal.
We have recently moved to a new constituency office in Houghton town centre. Unfortunately, our telephone number has now changed to 0191 584 4317. If you dial our previous office...
Bridget Phillipson, Labour Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has visited Oakfield Court in East Herrington to receive a petition from local residents to have the No. 35A Bus reinstated in East Herrington, which they have requested her to send to Go North East.
Bridget was invited by Councillor Gillian Galbraith and the residents to visit them again as they continue their fight to see the vital transport link restored. Oakfield Court is a sheltered housing scheme that houses older residents who rely on public transport in order to access their GP surgeries and other local amenities.
It is not the first time Bridget has been to see the residents. During the General Election campaign she also paid them a visit, when many raised concerns over the impact of the cuts to local bus services that have been carried out over the last few years.
Since then residents have decided to take a stand and actively petition bus operator Go North East to reinstate No 35A service. It is the second time in recent years that they have been forced to do so. Back in 2012 they successfully petitioned the operator to maintain the service with some alterations having collected over 300 signatures against proposed changes.
During her tenure as Member of Parliament for the constituency Bridget has campaigned for the introduction of a Quality Contract Scheme to re-regulate the provision of local bus services across Tyne and Wear.
The introduction of this scheme would ensure that bus services are run in the public interest and not exclusively for profit. Routes that are socially important and which provide vital community access will be protected under the plans, which are currently under consideration by the independent Quality Contracts Board.
"It was a privilege to receive the petition by the residents of Oakfield Court today. Having already spoken to them during the General Election campaign, I understand the detrimental effect that bus cuts are having on their access to vital services.
"The loss of the 35A service has made it much more difficult for residents to see their GP and access local amenities.
"We can’t go on like this and that is why I am favour of the re-regulation of bus services. The introduction of a Quality Contract Scheme for the Tyne and Wear bus network is the only way to ensure that bus companies put people before profits.”
Bridget Phillipson, Labour Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has visited Oakfield Court in East Herrington to receive a petition from local residents to have the No. 35A...