A campaign by around 30 regional media outlets in the North of England is calling on the new Prime Minister to #PowerUpTheNorth.
According to ChronicleLive, the Power Up The North campaign ‘calls on the main political parties to spell out what they intend to do, and how they will work with others, to narrow the North-South divide.’
Newspapers and websites are sharing an open letter to politicians in London to raise concerns on a wide set of problems in the North and demand they are taken seriously.
The campaign has been launched to coincide with the Conservative leadership contest as a new PM is chosen, but editors of the media outlets have also said that they hope opposition parties respond to their calls for action.
The open letter, published in the Yorkshire Post and other media outlets, reads;
“At a time of unprecedented political uncertainty, we are calling on the main parties — and those who aspire to lead them — to spell out what they intend to do, and how they will work with others, to narrow the North-South divide.
“With nominations closing today in the Tory party contest to succeed Theresa May — and with every likelihood of a general election being called in the near future in an attempt to break the Parliamentary paralysis — every day of dither and delay risks leaving the North at an even greater disadvantage.
“Politics can’t stay in limbo like this. Decisions need to be made and new infrastructure built so this region can attract national and international investment.
“There must be a new commitment by all parties to put this region first and start reversing decades of under-investment in key services.
“And in the wake of a succession of critical reports and interventions by well-respected policy-makers and political grandees, we’re calling on each party — and leadership nominee in the Tory party’ case — to give formal backing to the Northern Powerhouse policy agenda.”
The publications also said they hoped that the post of Northern Powerhouse Minister is elevated to Cabinet status, with full powers.
Darren Thwaites, editor in chief of the Manchester Evening News said;
“Over successive governments, the North has been given neither the funding nor the powers to reach its full economic potential. Policy continues to centralise funding and decision-making in London and the South East, while neglecting a Northern population of over 15m people.”
The campaign comes a year after publications in the region came together for the OneNorth campaign, demanding urgent action over the North’s railways.
A study by YouGov found that 60% of people surveyed believe London gets more than its fair share of public spending. The #PowerUpTheNorth campaign is requesting for more investment in the North, arguing for the North-South divide to be narrowed.