Call for ‘England of the regions’

A campaign group has renewed its call for more powers to be devolved to the north.

The Hannah Mitchell Foundation, which wants an elected assembly for the north, says as the Scottish independence referendum approaches, the government should introduce an “England of the regions“.

Professor Paul Salveson, the foundation’s general secretary, has published a paper titled One Nation, Many Rivers, exploring England’s radical political history and suggesting this could form the building blocks of a new, democratic English politics.

Foundation chair Barry Winter said:

Paul Salveson calls for a genuine devolution of power to England’s regions in line with the changes taking place in both Scotland and Wales.

“His argument could not be more relevant in these fluid times.

“He recognises we have an opportunity to break with our over-centralised system and with the political cynicism it encourages.

“As England of the regions, he argues, drawing on our democratic traditions, should ensure that power is then widely dispersed.

“This is a message of hope in the possibility of positive change for a better future.”

After the foundation was launched in 2012, Labour leader Ed Miliband said the public was not interested in a “government of the north” and it was better to devolve power to local councils than create “more layers of politicians”.

Michael Knowles, from the Campaign for an English Parliament, said creating a government for the north would worsen the country’s “widening social and economic divide”.

Prof Salveson’s paper is available online at

Source – Durham Times,  02 Sept 2014

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