3 October 2018
Many people in the North of England know the government doesn’t care about its lack of modern infrastructure and the desperate impacts of austerity here.
But it is clear from the £40,000 spent on trying to disguise the lack of visits from the “northern powerhouse minister”, James Wharton, that they are bothered about how it looks (The Guardian: Minister rarely left London, 28 September).And well they should be.
For as I’ve seen everywhere from anti-fracking protection camps to a recent packed Leeds for Europe conference, the north is increasingly determined to reverse the concentration of power and resources in Westminster.
Support for genuine devolution – a Yorkshire assembly for us – is growing fast. We do need to take back control, to make the UK a democracy, and that has to mean communities making decisions for themselves.
Government ministers need to be coming to the north to talk with powerful local elected people, to negotiate on equal terms.Then people wouldn’t have to ask of James Wharton, as they have on my Facebook page, “who’s he?”
Sheffield Green Party & Former Leader
Letter published in The Guardian.