POLITICS: Rural north needs fair deal

Since the whole Scottish independence referendum debate started a few years back, the cases both for and against having regional assemblies have been heavily argued.

As a resident of north Northumberland for over 35 years, I have seen that our region has been treated as the last frontier and systematically neglected by the two-party system or red-and-blue politics of Whitehall and Westminster.

Some form of devolved powers to the North East needs to result in us being in a position to ensure that Northumberland has a strong voice within the region and that our rural issues are not neglected.

In any devolution outcome, the voice of rural and north Northumberland must be on a par with that of the urban south-east of the county and must not be forgotten about, which would seem to be the case since Labour took control of Northumberland County Council last year.

I see that Parliament is going to debate devolution next week; I hope that steps are taken towards fair representation in devolving power to the North East or federal governance and making sure that any devolution offered to us is as fair and equitable to that of other regions within England.

Susan Bell,