Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Adonis review - prepping speeches, conference notes and so much more

The summer is a chance to think, and chief on my mind is the Adonis Report into the North East
Together with Nick Brown MP I have secured a debate on Thursday September 5th in the early afternoon in the House of Commons. The next day there is an all day conference at the Centre for Life, where Adonis and othes, including myself, are speaking & discussing the report and debating the way ahead.
The review was commissioned by the local enterprise partnership and featured some of our top business brains. I added my small contribution at a lunch with the Andrew Adonis team and David Miliband in the Commons. I regret to say we in the North East, and particularly the Labour Party, will miss David in the months and years ahead.
I am writing my speech and action points in the light of the review and it will clearly shape much of government and my approach in the future. It is also a good guide for other LEPs.
I am excited that for the first time in a while the North East is beginning to lead the way in forward thinking. This report is unique - no other LEP has done this, using the cream of the local talent from all walks of life, and led by a man who is easy to work with, whatever our political differences (Andrew was a Labour advisor and Minister under Tony Blair / Gordon Brown).
What I am particularly interested is Adonis's views on alternative and innovative ways forward, that are not simply predicated on give more money to the region. We are going to have to solve our problems ourselves. Governments of all forms will lack cash in the years ahead.
As always, the key is the approach, and government enabling and freeing up business, local authorities and community leaders to dare to be different, to prioritise, and put aside old rivalries.
On that point the efforts of so many to persuade the many local authorities to form a combined authority is the icing on the cake. I have spoken to many local businesses and civic leaders on the way ahead for the combined authority, and there is a real sense that we are beginning to speak with one voice locally in a way that Manchester, and other regional hubs or cities, have done for many years.

I shall be writing and speaking more in the coming weeks on specific topics and, as always, welcome contributions on the blog or in writing to the House, or emails on specific topics. For example, I have a dedicated and specialist team of transport experts who help me hugely with their greater knowledge and ability to read through local proposals in depth. Similarly I have expert supporters, and critics, who help from a Business point of view.
The report and the details about the LEPs commissioning role is found here: