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Lib Dems Call For Northern Revolution

March 10, 2014 4:41 PM

Northern Liberal Democrat MPs, peers and council leaders have united to lobby the Chancellor for better funding for economic regeneration of the North.

In a budget submission titled 'Grim up North?', they argue that English northern regions have done more than their fair share of heavy lifting when it comes to addressing the nation's deficit.

They claim that if the coalition is serious about re-balancing the economy, the government needs to take a long hard look at how money is currently spent particularly in those key areas that stimulate economic growth.

"Grim up North?" argues that the voice of the north has been muted in this and previous governments and that the confusion of government regeneration schemes disguises a fundamental unfairness in how government spends its money.

Maureen Rigg, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Stockton Borough Council, said "This is a demand for rebalancing the economic recovery to give the North a fair share of the benefit in return for the huge contribution we've made to cutting the deficit. I'm proud that government investment through the Local Enterprise Partnership and the Regional Growth Fund has helped the TeesValley already, but we need much more support in order to make the recovery sustainable here in the North East."

According to Southport's MP John Pugh the 'London influence' in all parties has been paramount when spending decisions are made.

"I would like to see a 'Coalition for the North'. There are disproportionately few northern voices in the corridors of power. "

We are not a bunch of whinging northerners asking for a handout but a region demanding the financial and political powers to shape the nation's economy in a more balanced and sustainable way.

That's what the government want but hasn't yet given sufficient clout to. The next two budgets are critical."