Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Crossing the Tees with Ed Davey MP

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Crossing the Tees with Ed Davey MP

Article excerpt

The people of the North-east face an important choice now they've been asked to vote on a Regional Assembly.

The Liberal Democrats strongly support a Yes vote in the referendum, and I'd like to explain why.

We believe the people of the North-east know what's best for this area.

An assembly can make a difference to a region on things like jobs, housing and transport.

We agree with Labour on this Regional Assembly because we believe it's in the interests of local people. Only the Tories are opposed.

I'm pleased so many non-politicians are backing the "Yes" vote - like Brendan Foster and Suzannah Clarke - as well as local politicians like Ray Mallon, the mayor of Middlesbrough.

This proves the assembly is not just about more politicians talking: it's about people of the North-east making their own lives better.

It makes no sense that decisions about investments in key industries, major transport developments or regeneration schemes should be taken in London.

Why should somebody sitting at a desk in London take decisions about rail services between Saltburn and Stockton?

Devolution has strengthened the voice of Scotland, Wales and London and I believe it could do the same for the North-east.

When I visit the North-east, I am struck by two things.

First, I notice the real pride that people have in their community.

Second, I get a real sense that people in the region feel they are overlooked by the decision-makers in London.

And the North-east continues to face significant problems in creating good quality jobs, especially for its young people.

These things were brought home to me as I saw the results of an ICM poll on attitudes to a North East Assembly, with massive levels of support among the young.

Young people have their eye on the future and seem to be very positive about what an Assembly might achieve. …

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