A tale of two outcomes

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The North of England, from Sheffield up to the Scottish Border, is now universally referred to as the Northern Powerhouse as an area of growth and improvement.

The paradox is that the Northern Powerhouse is referred to as one northern region, yet the reality is that the line, which once defined the North/South divide as being located around the Watford gap, has shifted further north to run along the Lancashire/Cumbria border and east along the Yorkshire/Teeside: Durham border.

The key indicator is that the HS2 rail link and its immediate benefits come no further north than Manchester/Leeds/Sheffield/York.

Then when you look at the detail of what is happening in Cumbria and everything north of Teesside and Durham borders, we actually have a tale of two outcomes.

Granted investment in infrastructure projects by central and local government and the private sector has grown in the most northern part of the powerhouse and is most welcome.

This growth, however, cannot hide the reality of what is happening in this most northerly English region – poorer housing, lower paid jobs, failing schools and a rise in crime.

The policy of this Government is to build at all costs but strip back the revenue to the public sector and its social/charitable partners to such a level that we face the unprecedented scenario of socialist councils voting to cut services for those most in need.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, we saw what becomes of crushing those in work on good wages and replacing their jobs with low paid work, but this time the Government is crushing those who can’t work and aspire to better themselves. Where will they go and who will defend them?

Is the spirit of the north of defending our diverse communities and the less fortunate so broke that we can’t stand up to the Westminster bullies and say enough is enough.

If they don’t listen, we still have Europe as a means of help , however for how long, if, as I suspect, this Government secretly wants out of Europe?

Our MPs need to stand up and be counted now and challenge what is happening.

Are we prepared to allow this Government to dismantle the fabric of Northern society or are we so battered that we have become helpless lost souls with no idea of how to respond?

George Craig