Petition launched to recognise 'the Real North' - call for Government to help communities beyond Leeds and Manchester

A Northumberland councillor has launched a petition calling for the Government to recognise ‘the real north’ and ensure it receives the funding it needs.

By Ben O'Connell
Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 7:14 am
A petition has been launched to recognise the 'Real North'
A petition has been launched to recognise the 'Real North'

The petition, DO NOT FORGET – The Real North, has been created on 38 Degrees by Coun Georgina Hill, an independent who is one of the three ward members for Berwick.

It features a map which describes the area of the country from around Middlesbrough up to Berwick and the Scottish border as ‘the real north’, while the section below, including Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, is labelled ‘not the north’.

Coun Hill, who was also the runner-up in the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner by-election last summer, said: “The petition is a bit of fun on a subject which has been a source of banter over the years, but with a serious message and something we need to keep reinforcing as a real north movement.”

The petition’s three main aims are for the Government to: Recognise where the real north of England is; Ensure that the real north receives its fair share of investment after decades of neglect; Not stall recent moves to ‘level up’ as a result of Covid-19 and the lockdown.

The petition states: ‘Successive Governments of all political colours have had a tendency to take a southern and particularly a ‘London-centric’ view of things and focussed investment there.

‘In recent years, there have been bold statements around creating a Northern Powerhouse and, more recently, of ‘levelling up Britain’.

‘Over the last few years, there appears to have been an increased focus on the northern end of the country and investment coming through initiatives such as the Borderland Inclusive Growth Deal.

‘However, too often the Government will trumpet investment in the north when, in actual fact, the money is directed towards areas which are in the Upper Midlands area of the country, not the real north.

‘There is also concern that recent moves to make up for decades of underinvestment in places like Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland and the rest of the real north may now be stalled following Covid-19 and the lockdown.

‘Please sign the petition and use the hashtag #TheRealNorth to help ensure we get our fair share and are not forgotten again in this new landscape.’

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