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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.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 19-May-14 23:03:58

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.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 19-May-14 23:19:42

Department of Health
Department of Education


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.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 19-May-14 23:20:39

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

LaurieFairyCake Mon 19-May-14 23:22:45

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

LaurieFairyCake Mon 19-May-14 23:23:38

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.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 19-May-14 23:26:08

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?

JohnnyBarthes Tue 20-May-14 08:42:00

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.

JohnnyBarthes Tue 20-May-14 08:46:02

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.

JohnnyBarthes Tue 20-May-14 10:59:12

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

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?

JohnnyBarthes Tue 20-May-14 11:12:25

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

JohnnyBarthes Tue 20-May-14 11:43:49

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.

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