I welcome the Chancellors efforts to create a Northern powerhouse by linking the cities either side of the Pennines. I have long admired the efforts of Manchester: it has embraced the idea of a Mayor, and Manchester clearly punches well above their weight. For example Greater Manchester did their entire local plan in 18 months finishing it many years ago. Northumberland which is a fraction of the size will not finish ours until well into 2015 at best. Would that we had such leadership.
Also, I have long made the point that it is vital that we have the ability of the various local cities to work together and put aside past rivalries - Leeds v Manchester has plenty of history but are working together on the Northern Powerhouse project - gives us much to learn in the North East. The LA7 - whereby the 7 local authorities work together has taken a long time to come to fruition but it is a very good start. It is a key part of the Adonis plan to rebuild the north east. Fuller story here: