Northern politicians demand more help for regions

Andy Burnham is among a number northern politicians who have made a joint call for more help. Credit: PA

Northern politicians have made a new joint call for more help for the regions from Boris Johnson's Government.

Mayors and city leaders from Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Leeds and Sheffield, along with business leaders, are meeting for the second Convention of the North in Rotherham.

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram said five areas, mainly based on transport, are priorities for the North.

In a joint article in The Times, the mayors said:

To get this country working again, there is an urgent need to take power out of Westminster and give it to our great cities and regions.

Joint article

They want the Government to terminate the Northern Rail franchise and work towards more local control of rail services, London-style subsidies for northern bus services, central funding to help people affected by clean air zones to switch vehicles, action on homelessness and more devolved powers putting more money under their control.

Both also support two major projects to improve transport in the regions, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, but called for more money and powers to be devolved from Whitehall to the regions.

Former chancellor George Osborne launched the Northern Powerhouse in 2014, the key idea being to improve prosperity by raising the North's poor economic performance compared with the south and south east of England.