Tagged: directly-elected mayor

Raise The North group calls for people from the region to seek independence

A campaign has been launched for the north of England to become a breakaway state.

A petition by the Raise The North group calls for people from the region to band together and seek independence.

It is also urging David Cameron to ‘submit to the will of the northern people’.

The separation moves comes after an earlier petition called for the north to join with an independent Scotland.

The #TakeUsWithYouScotland hashtag soon flooded Twitter. More than 40,000 people have now signed the call-to-arms.

The latest petition, posted with the #RaiseTheNorth hashtag, reads:

“There is growing consensus that the north of England should join Scotland.

“Northern England should not ask to leave one governor, only to take on another. For as long as the south has ruled, we have been subjugated and marginalised.

“But the answer is not to allow ourselves to be ruled from Scotland. The Scots may help, but they can’t do it for us.

“It’s time that the people of the north stood as one against Westminster and said ‘no more’.”

Signatory Valerie Quigley wrote:

“It is time for the north of England to get their say. They have suffered from the same democratic deficit as Scotland for many years.

“North England self-government would benefit the area and could make good neighbours and agreements cross-border with Scotland.”

On the back of the Scottish independence referendum there have been growing calls for English devolution.

Places like Greater Manchester will soon have its own directly elected mayor; control of its entire £6bn NHS budget, a national first; and greater control over housing, transport and skills.

 

But the Raise The North group wants more, with the whole of the north of England breaking away and gaining independence.

At the last general election the North East was one of the few areas in England where support for the Labour party, which fought against Mr Cameron’s Tory government, actually went up.

With the highest unemployment rate in the country and many people either working in the under threat public sector or relying on benefits to boost poor salaries, there have been fears the region is missing out on what has been described as the economic upturn in the country.

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 19 May 2015

North East must accept Metro Mayor to get new powers says Osborne

The region must accept a single directly-elected mayor ruling from Durham to Scotland in order to grab dramatic new powers, George Osborne said yesterday.

The Chancellor signed a landmark devolution deal with Greater Manchester – covering transport, health, housing and the police – in return for a ‘metro mayor’, to run its ten authorities.

And he immediately warned that any city-region hoping for similar control over its own destiny must also accept a cross-border ‘Boris Johnson-style’ leader.

That list includes the new the North East Combined Authority, which brings together County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

The area is believed to be third on Mr Osborne’s list for agreeing devolution deals – after Manchester and West Yorkshire – with an announcement as early as next month.

But, last night, Simon Henig, Durham’s leader and the chairman of the combined authority, criticised Mr Osborne’ attempt to tie the region’s hands.

And he pointed out voters in Newcastle and eight other English cities had rejected mayors – for city boundaries only – in referendums just two-and-a-half years ago.

Councillor Henig said:

“I strongly believe it is now the time for powers and control over spending to be devolved out of Whitehall throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, not just to Manchester.

“However, my own view is that devolution should not be made conditional on accepting an elected mayor, which was rejected by the public in referendums in several major cities in 2012.”

The Chancellor’s move is a dramatic U-turn, because the Conservatives had rejected calls for metro mayors which, many argued, could be handed a powerful portfolio.

Yesterday, Mr Osborne said:
I hope that Manchester will be the first of many big cities to take advantage of greater devolution of powers.

“Any other city that wants to receive more powers and move to a new model of governance, with an elected mayor, should bring forward their proposals.”

The Manchester package includes:

* Responsibility for re-regulated bus services and integrated ‘smart ticketing’ across all local modes of transport.

* An enhanced ‘earn back’ deal – keeping £1m a year from economic growth, to fund an extension to the Metrolink tram network.

* Police powers – with the abolition of the elected police and crime commissioner (PCC).

* Control of a £300 million ‘housing investment fund’.

* Power over business support services – including manufacturing advice and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) export advice.

* Power to develop a plan to integrate health and social care.

A Government source said:

Who do the voters sack if something goes wrong? City-region mayors answer that.

“So we can obviously go further for cities that are able to step up to the accountability challenge.”

Source – Northern Echo,  04 Nov 2014