Difference is not so great

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In his letter (September 7) Mr Beck) calls into question the commitment to the Northern Powerhouse by the Government.

The Local Authorities in the North East could be placed fully in control of policy and investment if they would get their act together and agree to an elected Mayor. Birmingham is moving ahead on this and will leave other regions behind.

Mr Beck goes on to quote figures he claims shows this Government is underfunding the North East compared to other regions.

If Mr Beck would care to read Briefing Paper number 04033 from the House of Commons Library, he will note that the per capita public spend in the North East in 2013/2014 is second only to London, with spend in the North East at £9,576 against £9,866 in London. This compares well with the spend in the South East of £7,756 and the West Midlands of £8,641.

He may also be interested to know that the gap between the per capita public spend in London compared to the North East has reduced since 2009/2010.

In an attempt to reinforce his argument he makes comparison in investment between Gatwick and Newcastle Airports, which is, may I say, ludicrous.

He quotes investment in Gatwick of £497m and Newcastle of £14m. He does not say over what period this covers but consideration of the passenger traffic must be made. In June 2015, 3.8million passengers used Gatwick against 257,000 Newcastle.

Mr Beck must be more up front when he bandies figures around.

Alan Wright,

Barnes