To think that Great Britain is far more than just the south east

(100 Posts)
ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 21:52:45

London house prices are booming, but a lot of places in the North of England are in the doldrums when it comes to employment. I feel that only lip service has been paid to the regeneration of Newcastle.

We don't need more houses in london or the south east while houses in Newcaste and Salford stand empty. We need to regenerate these cities so that people choose to live there.

ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 21:54:23

If an alien watched the news then they would never realise that England extended beyond Watford. I feel that everything about England is far too london centric. We need to increase the wealth of all regions of England.

OttilieKnackered Mon 19-May-14 21:56:02

Equally, London is not the whole of the South East...

Bowlersarm Mon 19-May-14 21:57:47

Quite agree. Wish they wouldn't keep talking about building swathes of houses in the south east. It's way too crowded down here.

WorraLiberty Mon 19-May-14 21:59:42

I agree, apart from the bit where you said 'We don't need more houses in london or the south east', because we really do...even if houses in Newcastle and Salford are standing empty.

There's no point in telling someone who works in London or the South East, to give up their job and move to Newcastle.

With modern communications they should just move parts of govt out round the country - just like they put the dvla in Swansea

But I have to disagree that it's crowded - I'm in Herts and there's masses of fields we could build on

I'm really in favour of house building as it will gradually reduce house prices, regenerate the economy, and provide jobs.

Just build houses.

Chocotrekkie Mon 19-May-14 22:10:35

The whole thing is a vicious circle.

Unemployment in some areas is really high. There are very few employers. Jobs tend to be minimum wage levels. So the people with good skills/education move to more prosperous areas and get a good job there. They need to live somewhere so buy a house/rent from someone else who has bought the house.

So the area is left with people with lower employability skills either not working or on min.

So when a large employer comes along they have to decide on area 1 with the high skills base, economically vibrant which leads to nice amenities or area 2 - lower skills, poor area.

The only way to change it is to attract business to these areas. I think parliament moving from London to somewhere like Newcastle would be a good start. Move all the major gov depts to other cities/towns. Encourage companies to move their offices- free rent for 5 years etc.

It will never happen - so until then houses will be built where they are needed.

TucsonGirl Mon 19-May-14 22:11:53

The public sector needs to be moved out of London, entirely. Including the national government. There's absolutely no reason for it to be there. And it shouldn't all be moved to Manchester either.

Pipbin Mon 19-May-14 22:13:39

I also hate when they only mention the county on the news. 'A village in Dorset, Cornwall, North Yorkshire etc......'
Not London seems to be a mystery to some people. There was a poster a while back who seemed to think that everywhere outside London was a village.

Roseformeplease Mon 19-May-14 22:14:11

Or indeed that Great Britain extended beyond England....

TucsonGirl Mon 19-May-14 22:16:19

I sometimes think London should become an independent city state and the UK/England should pick another capital.

Munchmallow Mon 19-May-14 22:26:18

Quite, Roseformeplease

And yes Pipbin - Scotland doesn't have towns or cities either. Love the map grin

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 19-May-14 22:29:34

I'm In Newcastle and there's loads of house building going on in my town and another 2600 going up soon on old industrial land

tallulah Mon 19-May-14 22:32:27

All those suggesting the public sector be moved out of London & the SE, they have been, for the last 7 years at least. Not much fun for hundreds/ thousands of public sector workers faced with redundancy or having to relocate.

ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 22:34:30

The only place that gets snow is London where a few centimetres causes grid lock.

"So the area is left with people with lower employability skills either not working or on min."

I am sure there must be intelligent people in Newcastle who could do skilled graduate jobs. Newcastle has two universities. In fact the North of England has several high quality universities.

Its not just parliment, but the stock exchange is the financial centre of London. A lot of banks have their head quarters in London.

meditrina Mon 19-May-14 22:37:32

i've just has a look. The population of London is 8.3 million. That's considerably more than Scotland at about 5.2 million.

So unsurprising that it gets a bit more attention.

And of course, saying something is happening 'in London' is just as unspecific as saying "happened in a village Devon" not least because as London contains a number of county-sized boroughs.

ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 22:38:48

"l those suggesting the public sector be moved out of London & the SE, they have been, for the last 7 years at least. Not much fun for hundreds/ thousands of public sector workers faced with redundancy or having to relocate."

Reduncancy and re location is a fact of life in the private sector. In fact quite a lot of the civil service has already been moved out of London already. Ie the Met Office is in exeter, the national statistics office is in newport and the DVLA is in Swansea.

ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 22:41:56

"i've just has a look. The population of London is 8.3 million. That's considerably more than Scotland at about 5.2 million."

The population of the UK is 60 million. There are plenty of people who live in the UK. but don't live in scotland or London.

AgaPanthers Mon 19-May-14 22:44:50

Clearly we do need more housing in the south east, and we probably don't need it in the north and Wales, because prices are exploding in the south east and still falling in other areas.

Basic economics really.

That we need more investment out of London is true, but that doesn't meant that the people around London should be forced to pay half a million quid to live in a shitty flat to compensate.

smokepole Mon 19-May-14 22:49:57

I certainly don't believe that, the life my Brother has in Cheshire East is to be envied . The perception of many narrow minded people is quite staggering. A lot of my friends still believe the North begins at Hendon.

The truth is where I live in south kent is a bit of a "Shit Hole" yet friends see themselves as superior to "Northerners".

gamescompendium Mon 19-May-14 22:52:12

When talking about the Pfizer-AstraZeneca story Paul Nurse said AZ were investing in lots of new jobs in Cambridge. Emm, no, they are shutting down their Cheshire base and moving south. When Boris Johnson spoke aboutthe research triangle (London, Oxford and Cambridge) the Today programme took a 5 second soundbite from a representative from a NE business association where they were allowed to say 'we have technology jobs in the NE' before the story went back to the south.

If people in the south don't know there actually are jobs in the north then they are never going to look for them or apply for them. But on the other hand, you ask anyone working for the company I work for (very famous worldwide chemical company) if they would move to our competitors inn the south everyone laughs. We're all sitting here in our affordable 4 bedroom detached houses with good schools and hospitals. Why would I go somewhere where everything is more expensive and worse?

Wooodpecker Mon 19-May-14 22:58:02

The majority of the countries wealth is made in London so it will always be considered more important in relation to news stories. I agree the wealth should be spread more evenly but how that happens is a different story.

Pipbin Mon 19-May-14 22:58:40

Munch. Scotland is either heather and glens with small villages like the Wicker Man or drug slums like train spotting. Nothing else.

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 19-May-14 23:01:00

Employment at in Newcastle is terrible, i have recently found employment after being unemployed. I gave up work to be a SAHM for 5 years, nothing great just a min wage job to tide me over. My dad works in the NHS up here and he said 100s of graduates applied for a job in his office manning the phone. I also noticed the difference in qualifications which are now asked for in min wage jobs. Cleaning, they want you to have a qualification. Shop work, 4GCSEs C and above. General office jobs and NVQ L3.

Pipbin Mon 19-May-14 23:01:15

I also get annoyed at the way we are all meant to know that some places are in London.

There's still loads of the public sector they could move out of London though.

There's plenty of folk who'd be willing to relocate for £150k 4-bed detached houses.

x2boys Mon 19-May-14 23:08:54

I live in greater Manchester I sometimes es think that if the whole of the north west was suddenly to disappear in some catastrophe a flood or an earthquake it would only be briefly mentioned at the end of the news and that would only because of how it might affect London.

ReallyTired Mon 19-May-14 23:08:59

"Clearly we do need more housing in the south east, and we probably don't need it in the north and Wales, because prices are exploding in the south east and still falling in other areas.

Basic economics really."

Prehaps we need to change economics. It is silly everyone trying to cramp into a very small part of the UK. Relieving pressure on housing in London and the south and improving the economic situation of Newcastle and North Wales would be a win win situation.

We need wealth creation in every part of the UK.

ILoveCoreyHaim Mon 19-May-14 23:14:33

Persimmon Homes
Linden Homes
Miller Homes

They all seem to have large new builds going on atm. You can get a brand new 4 bed detached for £149,000.

meditrina Mon 19-May-14 23:16:18

"loads" of the public sector

Which do you mean? (Genuine question, I thought like a pp that most had been moved out, other then London's own services and the Whitehall departments which have to be near London - and only HMT is entirely there, or are there others?)

London is the seat of Government, so unless your proposing to move that, then news stories about the capital have to be London centric. Is the rest really an unfair reflection given 14% of the population is there? For example, to have the same level of impact, snow would have to have halted all of Scotland, the NE and the NW.

Defra
DTI
Department of Health
Department of Education

Anyth

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 19-May-14 23:20:32

We are in the Midlands, so "northern" to anyone from south of Milton Keynes & "southern" to anyone north of Stoke. A kind of no-man's land really grin.

Of course Great Britain is far more than just London/the South East - and I don't agree that somewhere is more important because it generates the most money. But London is the capital city (of England anyway) and where parliament sits & a lot of company/bank HQ's are, so I suppose it does stand to reason that it will feature in the national & business news a lot.

I have two friends who moved down to London. One is a barrister, so moved for work (he is in a prestigious chambers) & actually lives somewhere near St Albans. He could do the same job here - but not at the same level. The other is a primary school teacher & of course she could work just as easily in the Midlands. In fact if she moved back here, she could buy a 4 bed house with a decent garden for the price of her 2 bed flat in London and she could save herself the stress of securing places at decent primary schools for her 2 DCs, as all of the primaries here are either good or outstanding - and rarely oversubscribed. She loves the London life though, they did try moving back here a few years ago but hated the pace of life. Some people thrive on the atmosphere of city living (apparently), and I suppose that anyone who does would be drawn to London.

Anything with ministers attached could be anywhere and they could travel down for cabinet meetings etc

I have no idea why Defra would be in London confused

ACAS
UK sport ( there's a lot of sport elsewhere grin)

Sea and Water is a govt dept in London

ComposHat Mon 19-May-14 23:25:34

Look at the screaming fit they had when some BBC services were relocated to Manchester. You'd think the BBC meija types were being shipped out to Siberia, rather than a major English city a mere 2 hours away on the train.

But it does feel a bit like a vicious circle, no investment in the infrastructure anywhere but London, so more and more companies relocate there.

Office of gas and electricity markets
Better government for older people (could move to Worthing wink)

There's 30 pages of govt offices in London on yell btw in case anyone thought I'd suddenly become brainy about govt offices

purits Mon 19-May-14 23:28:05

The majority of the country's wealth is made in London so it will always be considered more important...

...and London makes damn sure that the wealth creation stays in London.angry

news stories about the capital have to be London centric. Is the rest really an unfair reflection given 14% of the population is there?

But 86% aren't in London! London is a minority.

meditrina Tue 20-May-14 00:11:36

If all news coverage was about London, then yes, you'd have a point. But it isn't, unless you are including what the Westminster Governmnt is doing.

And the departments listed have their HQs in London, but not most of their activities and staff are long gone (though I have no idea about the sports bodies).

Suggesting that departmental HQs join their other main sites around the country would probably put an end to even lip service to interdepartmental working, and would mean a complete change of how the interface with Parliament is currently arranged (you might see that as a good thing, but it woul mean considerable change).

meditrina Tue 20-May-14 00:13:28

"Sea and Water is a govt dept in London"

Didn't know about that one. Is it there in its entirety? Or a representative office because the HQ of the UN's IMO is there?

The DVLA have long (always?) been in Swansea. Likewise the Met Office in Taunton (and elsewhere). They and the Environment Agency (among others) aren't Government Departments anyway, but agencies forming part of Government Departments (the DoT, BIS and DEFRA in the case of the three I just mentioned) all of whom have at least a presence in London.

This presence needs be where Department's ministers are; ie Whitehall or within a stone's throw of Whitehall (such as the Home Office, which is five minutes away).

The business of issuing vehicle and driving licences or passports, running benefits, tax and immigration systems, monitoring weather and river levels, Defence procurement and support etc etc is best off outside of Whitehall (and already is).

I completely agree that we ought to be looking at regeneration outside of the South East, but moving posts away from Whitehall would be a drop in the ocean and could actually be detrimental. You need more than a mandarin or two within physical poking distance of the Commons, basically.

Laurie - there are plenty of Government offices in London but generally a fraction of each Department's staff actually work in them. The ones where all or most of the staff are London-based are probably fairly small agencies/bodies who need a London presence but are not large enough to justify another office elsewhere.

ReallyTired Tue 20-May-14 10:47:45

Do these departments REALLY need a london presence? Surely a "sea and water" department (that I have never heard of) should be by the sea.

Anyway, why does Parliment itself need to be in london. Surely there would be logic into moving Parliment to Birmingham or manchester (or may be further north if scotland doesn't become independent.)

Prehaps we need to be radical to solve the UK's housing crisis.

I'm being pedantic, but "Sea and Water" (whatever that is) is not a Government Department. I'm guessing that it's part of the Environment Agency, which is itself part of DEFRA, although it's not listed at all on gov.uk

You need representatives from all Departments to be based physically near to Parliament, wherever Parliament is.

Pleasejustgo Tue 20-May-14 11:05:44

What?! There is life outside zone 2?

med Suggesting that departmental HQs join their other main sites around the country would probably put an end to even lip service to interdepartmental working, and would mean a complete change of how the interface with Parliament is currently arranged

I missed that, sorry blush

Basically, what meditrina said. I do know of interdepartmental group whose members are based all over the country but guess where it's easier to meet (and it ain't Birmingham)?

Skina Tue 20-May-14 11:16:25

Is it? Blimey grinwink

TwoLeftSocks Tue 20-May-14 11:31:24

I'd love it if Parliment could tour the UK, maybe spending a number of years in a rotation of major cities. I suspect though that it would be highly inpractical and would never happen.

As much as anything, I get naffed off at the London-centric media coverage, maybe the media could shift elsewhere while retaining a London base.

ballinacup Tue 20-May-14 11:37:42

"So the area is left with people with lower employability skills either not working or on min."

Yep, we're all just squatting in a ditch, shoving berries up our noses here in the North hmm

I don't think every city would welcome that particular travelling circus, TwoLeft grin

wrt London (or rather SE) -centric reporting though, the recent flooding left a lot of people a bit hmm What was happening in Somerset and elsewhere barely made the national news for weeks (or so it seemed).

I suppose given the concentration of people and power in the South East it's inevitable that it seems over-represented.

ReallyTired Tue 20-May-14 11:56:07

"I'd love it if Parliment could tour the UK, maybe spending a number of years in a rotation of major cities. I suspect though that it would be highly inpractical and would never happen."

That is an interesting idea. Although it would be expensive buildings. Prehaps we should have MPs video conference more.

If Parliment was based in Birmingham then more politicans could travel there and back in a day as its in the centre of England. (OK I know that the UK is more than England) It would be easier for welsh MPs to get to. Fewer MPs would need second homes in London. Northen Irish and Scottish MPs would have a shorter flight. This would reduce the expenses budget and improve work/ life balance for MPs.

Prehaps we should have devolution for England with more decision making made in Birmingham. A new parliment building for the whole of the UK could be redesigned to fit the needs of 21st century politicians. Threre could be flats for the purpose of housing MPs from a long distance, so we don't have all these scandals with second homes and expenses. The new parliment would be designed to make video conferencing easier.

Where should be put the stock exchange?

TwoLeftSocks Tue 20-May-14 12:06:57

Maybe we could put the stock exchange in Milton Keynes, the straight-lined town planning and regularity of the roundabouts might counter the high risk investments culture.

meditrina Tue 20-May-14 12:09:47

Rotation would be hideously expensive. But re-siting permanently (Parliament itself and all the Government departmental HQs) would work (though I can just imagine the campaigning both for and against from all the locations that would be possible candidates).

The stock market and other commercial hubs don't need to follow (look at say Sydney/Canberra).

The scenario has led me to wonder what would move in to all the buildings currently in use (especially the listed/historic ones). And who would be able to afford to live in No10? (A Russian oligarch, perhaps?)

Pleasejustgo Tue 20-May-14 12:14:32

Oh dear bellinacup, sounds grim up there! confused

I've nothing helpful to add in afraid, it's one of 'those days'.

<wanders off for a small meltdown>

allmycats Tue 20-May-14 12:16:45

On a post earlier it states that there are 'several good universities' in the North - Well bugger me, they are letting us have an education !!!!

Yep, we're all just squatting in a ditch, shoving berries up our noses here in the North

grin

TwoLeftSocks Tue 20-May-14 12:56:53

Who actually owns No.10 and the Houses of Parliment? Is it the Crown, or the Treasury?

TwoLeftSocks Tue 20-May-14 13:02:48

Oh look, great reason to get the Campaign For The Relocation Of The Centre Of The Universe (willing to accept catchier titles) up and running...

www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/architecture/9030847/Houses-of-Parliament-could-be-sold-because-building-is-sinking.html

meditrina Tue 20-May-14 13:23:13

Diagram on the Crown Estate

It's owned by the Crown in the sense of the Monarchy, not the personal property of whoever is crowned at any particular time.

Gah, this sort of thing really annoys me. I love the North East, I wasn't born here but I live here and love the place. Its honest, beautiful, friendly not overcrowded and the quality of life is brilliant.

But the best bit, the bit that makes me really proud, is that we make things, really good, complicated, useful things which we sell all over the world - in fact the North East was the only region with a positive trade balance last year (and all the way through the recession). When many other places seem to have sold out to gods of Service and Retail, I like to think the North East is still useful, relevant and can be truly proud of what it does.

For those of you who may be Douglas Adams fans, there is no way the North East would be on "Ark Ship B"

TwoLeftSocks Tue 20-May-14 14:02:42

Not a land of telephone sanitisers grin

grin

FannyFifer Tue 20-May-14 14:10:30

That heat wave the whole of Britain was getting, not in Scotland it wisnae.

FannyFifer Tue 20-May-14 14:13:31

North East, Aberdeen??

kinsorange Tue 20-May-14 14:16:23

I agree that the problem is getting worse.

I knwo someone who shall remain nameless, who I asked why his, sort of IT firm is in London. He said it was because they needed to be geopgraphically near other parts of the same industry.

So basically, and I suspect it is the same for other jobs too, if one part of the industry moved to say, Biurmingham, they would all need to move.

Sort of lost my train of thoguht now.

I suppose what I am saying, is that it could end up lots of things becoming say Newcastle centred iyswim.

weatherall Tue 20-May-14 14:16:58

England is far too centralised and it is to the detriment of the whole economy.

Whole sectors need to move out of London to have any hope of this changing.

Government and parliament could sell up and move the whole political circus somewhere else.

Or the city, or the media industry, arts, universities, any large employers/industries. Tourism will follow.

Most other countries aren't so centralised.

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 14:17:22

The NE is a beautiful part of GB. Makes u wonder why we are left to rot money wise and job creation wise

The North East's beaches have won four Blue Flag and eight Seaside awards from Keep Britain Tidy

www.chroniclelive.co.uk/whats-on/family-kids-news/north-east-beaches-longsands-king-7140882

FannyFifer Tue 20-May-14 14:20:27

Thats not the North East of Britain though, just England.

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 14:20:53

If money was pumped in we could have some beautiful holiday destinations. As it is the seafront promenades and shops are all boarded up and left to rot

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 14:26:20

If money was pumped in we could have some beautiful holiday destinations. As it is the seafront promenades and shops are all boarded up and left to rot. Looks like they are doing it up but with flats. Imo they need businesses instead.

www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/time-called-three-derelict-sites-6698616

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 14:27:08

If money was pumped in we could have some beautiful holiday destinations. As it is the seafront promenades and shops are all boarded up and left to rot. Looks like they are doing it up but with flats. Imo they need businesses instead.

www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/time-called-three-derelict-sites-6698616

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 14:29:21

Looks like they are at least regenerating whitley bay but building houses instead of businesses, turning it into a holiday destination would be a better idea imo

www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/time-called-three-derelict-sites-6698616

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 14:30:23

Oops sorry, damp phone and MN froze

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 14:32:29

FannyFifer
I'm guessing you knew what I meant as you answered your own question

FannyFifer Tue 20-May-14 14:38:16

I did, but just making the point that Great Britain is far more than just England.
Rather hypocritical complaining about GB being London centric then forgetting that NE of great GB isn't in England.

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 15:00:20

Yes my mistake, I meant England but was looking at GB in the post. NE of GB I guess is West coast of Scotland

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 15:01:32

Bloody hell, I mean East coast of Scotland blush

I don't understand it at all. If I had start-up funding of, let's say £1m, and was starting an IT company designing the next Paypal, I would be damned before I'd open my HQ in London, when I could spend my funding so much more effectively both now and in the long term by operating out of a city in the North. Cheaper office space, lower salaries, cheaper living expenses for me.

There is NO practical reason for non-retail businesses to be solely in London.

I'm working with a 2nd round funding start-up at the moment (i.e. they've been going for a couple of years, and have received a 2nd round of investment worth millions) and they're in a very dubious part of London. At first I was all "good for them - not spending their money on fancy pants offices in a trendy area" but then I thought - wait - why aren't they in Newcastle? Manchester? Their overheads would be nearly halved.

katienana Tue 20-May-14 16:23:14

There was a Guardian article last week which has rightly peed people off on social media as it painted such a negative picture of the North East. Incidentally the North East is more than just Newcastle - Durham, Sunderland and Middlesbrough and the outlying parts are all important too!
www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/10/north-east-avoid-becoming-britains-detroit
I live and work in Newcastle, on the Quayside to be precise. There are several professional services firms based on the Quayside, Barclays have just taken a big new office, every lunchtime you will see a mixture of tourists and professional people. It certainly seems upbeat and thriving to me. There are opportunities up here, and it's true that with housing being cheaper you can afford a much better lifestyle. I love that we can jump in the car and within 20 minutes we can be either in wild unspoilt countryside, on a beautiful beach, or at a free city centre museum or art gallery. But shhhh, don't tell anyone, or they'll all want to come up here!
4 bedroom detached houses cost more than £150k though....

kinsorange Tue 20-May-14 16:29:02

Perhaps they think that it gives them more kudos?

Saying I have a brilliant IT company in say [and here I have to be careful, because my geographical and knowledge of towns in general is not 100%] Scunthorpe -never been there it could be lovely, is not going to win them so much business?

Plus, in the first instance, untill a lot of other companies move to Scunthorpe, not many have a reason to visit there?

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 16:31:14

They built some next to me 2 year ago and some 4 beds were up for £149K. IDK if it was anvoffer for advertising as it was on a big billboard. My SIL bought one of the 2 beds on the same estate for £80k. There are another lot being built now same estate different builder and they have got 3 bed luxury detached for £149K.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 20-May-14 16:37:54

> who I asked why his, sort of IT firm is in London. He said it was because they needed to be geopgraphically near other parts of the same industry.

FGS surely the IT industry of all things doesn't need to be geographically localised in this day and age. I write software for a global company from my home in the lovely, affordable and non-overcrowded North-West of England. The colleagues I work with most are in California and some in India.

redexpat Tue 20-May-14 16:37:58

Well you should pay more attention to hazel blears. She was very keen to get the cabinet meeting in different cities.

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 16:39:43

I live on a really nice council estate (most of them are bought) and a big 3 story 3 bedroom with a garage and garden just sold at for £52K and a 2 story with a garage and garden sold for £54K.

Fasttouch Tue 20-May-14 22:19:07

Cheaper housing won't make people leave London really not when there are so much more Jobs there and some industries are solely based there and wouldn't work so well outside London. Then you have people who love the hustle and bustle of London.

ILoveCoreyHaim Tue 20-May-14 22:24:35

Yes that's the problem. There seems to be a lot of housing building going on but very few jobs. IDK about well paid jobs that people would leave London for but minimum or low paid jobs have 100s of people fighting for them. The houses seem to be selling on the big new build next to me. They seem to build about 100 wait till they sell then start mor. They have been building for over 2 years

I thought the centre of British IT was actually the South East, not London.

Some while back, the Guardian published a map, colour-coding areas by the amount of profit generated. The area north and west of London was hugely profitable, particularly around Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire. Lots of cutting-edge science and high-end manufacturing.

My view is that the UK's electoral system is specifically designed to represent local interests. People should elect MPs who will do this, rather than moaning.

SchnitzelVonKrumm Tue 20-May-14 23:44:34

The northeast was offered its own parliament in 2004. Nearly 80 percent voted "no" (and less than half the electorate could be bothered to vote at all).

ILoveCoreyHaim Wed 21-May-14 00:01:25

Yes most areas are just a little over 50% and always labour. They have never changed colour for decades most of them.

ILoveCoreyHaim Wed 21-May-14 00:03:49

The only leaflet I have had through my door are 4 labour ones for the council elections and no one has knocked from either party

And turnout is low. At the last election, Liverpool returned Labour MPs on barely 30% of possible votes. The average result was Labour 30%, Other 25% and Can't be Arsed 45%.

Salazar Wed 21-May-14 02:10:54

Agree wholeheartedly. I lived in the north east as an undergraduate and it was one of the richest experiences of my life.

ipswichwitch Wed 21-May-14 08:18:50

katienana according to that guardian article, I am one of a rare breed - I came from the south to study in the north east, graduated, stayed and got myself a graduate job. I soon realised I could afford a better standard if living by staying here than if I went back down south. There is also the fact that you have everything you could need (beaches, countryside, large shopping centres, airport) all in a relatively small area. All of this plus some of the friendliest people you could ever hope to meet.
This area has a lot going for it and I can't understand the lack of investment here.

ReallyTired Wed 21-May-14 11:39:21

Lets face it, technology is allowing us to have this conversation with people all over the world. Surely the need for business to be in london has gone. There is no doult that the internet is changing the way we work and live.

"Cheaper housing won't make people leave London really not when there are so much more Jobs there and some industries are solely based there and wouldn't work so well outside London. Then you have people who love the hustle and bustle of London."

There are cities up north you know... manchester is a really lively place to live if you want the hussle and bustle of a city. In fact living in Manchester is more exciting than living on the outskirts of London. There are theatres, restuarants, ballet and Opera in other parts of the country.

ErrolTheDragon Wed 21-May-14 17:47:01

Of course one of the problems in the NE, and parts of the NW is that the bloody short-sighted financial types destroyed our world-class chemical industry for short-term gains.

ComposHat Thu 22-May-14 11:14:00

There is nothing inevitable about the dominance of London, it is the product of concious decision making by successive government to invest money in the infrastructure of London and the south east. Berlin doesn't dominate the economy of Germany nor does Madrid in Spain, they have powerful regional cities which attract investment.

Money spent on things like Crossrail and Thameslink is money not spent on infrastructure in the rest of the UK. As a point of comparison Crossrail costs roughly the same as HS2, but barely a mummer is made if the money is being spent on London)

The level of investment in transport outside the southeast is appalling. Travel by train from Manchester to Liverpool, the trains are dirty run down relics for the 1970s and 1980s, barely staggering along years after they should have been scrapped. The line is being electrified to boost journey times, so the north will be getting new trains? No Northern Rail will be replacing the knackered old diesel getting knackered 30 year old electric cast offs from First Capital Connect whilst they get shiny new trains.

HesterShaw Thu 22-May-14 11:19:46

One of the problem's is Great Britain's shape - long and thin - with the access to the shortest Channel crossings being in the south east too. This makes business in the south east more sensible. This is compared to France or Germany which are a lot "squarer" with more borders and more markets easily accessible.

Therefore there needs to be a far more proactive policy of decentralisation instead of simply hoping that firms will choose somewhere like Plymouth or Carlisle to have set up, out of the goodness of their hearts. It's not going to happen.

TunipTheUnconquerable Thu 22-May-14 11:36:33

Henry VIII promised he would call a northern Parliament, but then he never did. AFAIK there have never been any serious plans since then?

I agree with the view, as expressed on that Evan Davis programme a few months ago, that they need to stop throwing money at attempting to make the north closer to London by shaving a few more minutes off the rail journey at enormous expense, and instead concentrate on investing in transport links within the north, which will be much better value for money and will help allow critical masses in various industries to develop outside London.

Also, I want one of those Game of Thrones t-shirts that says 'The North remembers'.

HesterShaw Thu 22-May-14 11:42:52

York was always the capital of the north in medieval times. Richard III administered it most effectively when he was Duke of York. If they could manage it then....

But it's not just the north. The south west has nothing except tourism. Nothing. Economies should not be based on tourism. This leads to low wages, low achievement, low expectation, low investment, low security...and high costs of living.

Viviennemary Thu 22-May-14 11:44:35

All this London stuff is getting very boring. Poor little us. We earn £150,00 between us and can't even afford a studio flat. Pathetic. There is life outside London in spite of what a lot of people think.

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