Bridget Phillipson, Member of Parliament for Houghton and Sunderland South, has joined forces with other north east Labour MPs and candidates to set out a strategy to build economic prosperity in the region and restore the funding needed to meet the needs of local people.
Over the last five years of Conservative-led coalition government, hundreds of millions of pounds have been diverted from the region to other parts of the country.
This diversion of funds was imposed despite the specific needs of the north east, which continues to make the transition to a more diverse economy.
In response the group of campaigning local MPs and Labour Party candidates have published their vision for the future of the north east in a report entitled ‘Our North East’. The report sets out a dozen priorities for the next government that Bridget and the others believe are essential for regaining the economic momentum that was lost as a result of coalition policies.
The report’s twelve priorities are:
• Secure, fair funding based on the needs of our people
• The introduction of the living wage across the region
• Development of sector based industrial strategies to help industry clusters work better together and build local supply chains
• The creation of a National Investment Bank to better serve the region
• Significant investment in the road network and regulation of bus services to alleviate congestion and improve access to employment
• Improvement to our rail system with modern trains to better serve our industries and people
• Development of our regional ports and airports to encourage better international connectivity and boost investment
• A regional tourism strategy to attract more visitors
• Support for our employers, colleges and universities to work closer together to develop the skills we need
• A careers and guidance service that informs our young people of the choices available to them as they plan for their future
• Greater devolution of decision making and funding to Combined Local Authorities working with Local Enterprise Partnerships and a Regional Minister
• A secure future within the European Union
Bridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South said:
“This report encapsulates Labour’s vision to develop the north east economy.
“The north east has great economic potential; it is the only English region that runs a trade surplus and it supports ground-breaking software and automotive industries such as Nissan and Sunderland Software City.
“What it has lacked over the last five years is political support from government. The region has suffered from disproportionate funding cuts and neglect by the Conservative-led coalition.
“The report authored by my Labour colleagues and I seeks to put that right. It makes twelve important recommendations that will help make the north east an economic powerhouse once again.”
A copy of the report can be found below: