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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.

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

NotYouNaanBread Tue 20-May-14 15:47:52

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!
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

Toadinthehole Tue 20-May-14 23:14:58

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

Toadinthehole Wed 21-May-14 00:26:48

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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