For many years, the North East was at the heart of government.
That is no longer the case and many Labour MPs have been left asking how they can lobby more effectively for the region.
Now, the Cities Minister Greg Clark has agreed to hold regular meetings with the region's MPs.
What difference will they make? The Newcastle East Labour MP Nick Brown spoke to Helen Ford in this month's edition of Around The House.
Watch the full interview here - including reaction from Conservative MP James Wharton.
The government says there isn't enough money to clean up tar from the River Tyne which one Newcastle MP believes is threatening people's health.
Nick Brown wants pollution from an old industrial site in the Walker area of the city to be stopped.
However, that would cost as much as two million pounds - which the local council simply doesn't have.
Mr Brown tried to appeal for government help in parliament today.
The former minister for the North East Nick Brown has called on ministers to drop proposals which could open the way to local and regional pay settlements for public sector workers.
Speaking in the ongoing budget debate in the Commons, Mr Brown said their introduction would lead to unwelcome and unintended consequences. He also said it was a myth to suggest that higher public pay rates were crowding out the private sector locally.