One North East should not have been abolished
Those were the words of Newcastle East MP, Nick Brown, in the House of Commons today as part of a debate on the North East economy.
The Labour MP criticised Lord Adonis’ Independent Economic Review, published in April of this year, and said it would have been better to “refocus” the role of the development agency.
He accused the report of having a “scattergun” approach and was weak on what to do about failures in regional processes.
Mr Brown repeated his calls for a regional minister role that would draw together regional influencers such as the Local Authorities, LEPs, and business leaders in the pursuit of growth.
He said the combined authority would not give the region any further access to government, and stressed that the Adonis report failed to provide solutions that were immediate enough.
Conservative Hexham MP, Guy Opperman, said the North East should be proud of the report as it provided a good basis for growth.
Mr Opperman advanced the idea of a regional minister, suggesting the North East would really benefit from a regional mayor, akin to the likes seen in US.
Mr Opperman also reiterated comments from Northumberland County Council that the report needs to encompass rural areas as well as urban centres.
Redcar MP Ian Swales said he was surprised by the criticism of the Adonis report as he felt it represented the region’s sentiments.
The Liberal Democrat said the report was “big on structures, low on dynamism.”
North East MPs were debating ahead of a major North East LEP event at Newcastle’s Centre for Life on Friday September 6, where Lord Adonis will be present to debate the merits of his report.