The Northern Mayors have joined forces to call on the government to take “urgent action” in five key areas.
Andy Burnham and Steve Rotheram, Mayors of the Greater Manchester and Liverpool City regions respectively, want action to be taken so the North is equipped with power and resources necessary to thrive.
Both Northern Mayors want to see further transport commitments in the region; as welcome as the noises made by the government about HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) are, these cannot be the only tests of commitment in the region.
The joint call from the Northern Mayors comes as business leaders and politicians across the North join together with trade unionists, community leaders and young people for the Convention of the North.
In total, government action has been called for in five key areas, with transport a key consideration.
Both Mayors have asked the Transport Secretary to terminate the Northern rail franchise and instead work towards more local control of rail services; this is the result of delayed and cancelled services over the last 18 months, with the summer timetable debacle of 2018 a key factor.
Elsewhere, the North is calling on a London-style subsidy package for northern bus services; and government funding has been requested to help those people and businesses affected by clean air zones to switch vehicles.
In a joint statement, the Mayors have called for local powers to stretch even further.
“To get this country working again, there is an urgent need to take power out of Westminster and give it to our great cities and regions.
“We need to build a new, healthier politics that unifies people around place and positive change and delivers practical change for citizens.
“Whilst central government has been stuck in the Brexit mire, we have used devolution to deliver for our local communities on the things that matter to them.
“So we are making a new joint call on the government for action in five priority areas.”