Sunderland MP backs business-boosting powers for the North East

Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott (Labour)
Sunderland Central MP Julie Elliott (Labour)
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CITY MP Julie Elliott is supporting calls for a NEvolution.

The Sunderland Central MP is urging the Government to delegate more powers to the North East after a report from financial specialist Ernst & Young revealed a drop in the level of inward investment being attracted into the region from foreign companies.

The NEvolution campaign sees newspapers across the region coming together to call on Chancellor George Osborne to devolve greater decision-making powers to the region in his spending review.

Commenting on the latest report, Julie Elliott said the Coalition Government had been mistaken to scrap regional development agency One NorthEast.

“One NorthEast was providing an effective voice for the region internationally, and was able to give the confidence and support needed to foreign companies who were interested in coming to the region,” she said.

“We know from Nissan how important foreign direct investment is for the future of our local economy. These alarming figures show the Government’s new strategy for inward investment isn’t working for the North East.

“The solution to this problem lies in giving the region the power, and it needs to address this issue. The Government needs to think again quite urgently, respond to the NEvolution campaign and give the region the real decision-making responsibilities and resources it needs to grow.”

Shadow Minister for Regional Growth Gordon Marsden MP said: “With our economy flat-lining we urgently need action to boost jobs and growth.

“This new research underlines the government’s failure to get growth going across the regions and rebalance the economy. Ministers abolished the Regional Development Agencies in a chaotic way without putting in place a proper replacement and have failed to give Local Enterprise Partnerships the support and powers they need to drive local growth.

“The Tory-led Government’s flagship policy, the Regional Growth Fund, has been mired in delay and confusion as winners have been left waiting for their money.”