This week I was delighted to chair a Q&A session of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership -; with issues including the Northern Rail franchise under discussion.


Establishing improved connectivity between our city and places such as Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool could help bring jobs, attract investment and benefit businesses.

Transport for the North have so far committed that Northern Powerhouse Rail will go as far as Newcastle. However, it needs to go further and carry this on to Sunderland as well.

Amid the obsession with big, ministers ignore mid-sized cities at their peril. My area is getting squeezed between Tees Valley and North of Tyne.

There is an unfair disparity with “huge” combined authorities getting more than their fair share of funding.

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