Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Regional Assembly Nonsense

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Regional Assembly Nonsense

Article excerpt

THE need to offer a fair deal to the regions of England, to the North in particular, is firmly on the political agenda, but neither of the two main parties has come up with a satisfactory answer so far.

David Cameron is focusing his attention on reforming Westminster and ensuring English MPs vote on English laws.

This won't do anything to give regions such as the North East more control over their own affairs. To us, Westminster would remain as distant as ever.

Labour leader Ed Miliband plans a constitutional convention to discuss the options, but it won't meet until next autumn. Meanwhile, a Bill authorising new powers for Scotland is expected as soon as January.

There has to be debate about how to bring new powers to the region, and all credit to Labour council leaders, who are warning Ed Miliband that change can't wait.

What is certain, though, is that nobody is proposing the creation of a new tier of government.

The North East rejected the creation of a new regional assembly in a referendum in 2004. …

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