“Northern Powerhouse” isn’t just a Mancunian matter

By Hugo Greenhalgh on June 3, 2015 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments

“To bring different parts of our country together, my government will work to bring about a balanced economic recovery. Legislation will be introduced to provide for the devolution of powers to cities with elected metro mayors, helping to build a northern powerhouse.” – The Queen’s Speech, 27 May 2015.

The Queen’s Speech last week reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to creating a “northern powerhouse”. This term was first used by George Osborne in a speech in June 2014 and denotes the urban agglomeration of England’s Northern cities into a collective force, capable of rivaling the economic power of London. At the centre of these plans is the High Speed 3 (HS3) rail network, connecting Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Hull and Newcastle.

While HS3 is unlikely to become a reality until the 2020s, a number of policies generally indicate that Westminster views Manchester as the flag-bearer for the rest of ‘the North’. It is already poised to take control of a devolved health and social care budget worth £6bn and will be the blueprint for other cities in Osborne’s ‘metro mayors’ proposals. Today, a £1 billion programme to transform Manchester Airport was unveiled, highlighting the global outlook of England’s de facto northern ‘capital’. Read more …

This week’s media round up

By Daniel Saunders on December 8, 2011 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments

Economic concerns led this week’s news agenda, initially with chancellor George Osbourne downgrading the UK’s growth prospects for 2012 to 0.7 per cent in his autumn budget statement as well as admitting the deficit will take longer to eradicate. In addition to these concerns, Wednesday played host to the largest public sector strikes for over 35 years as staff walked out over a dispute relating to pension reforms.

A fascinating side-effect of the strikes was a media storm relating to comments made by the controversial broadcaster Jeremy Clarkson who asserted that the individuals involved should be “lined up and shot”. In a completely unrelated story, sales of this year’s Top Gear book and Mr Clarkson’s own DVD have skyrocked.

Despite these widely covered topics, the most frequent articles of the week were tributes of the former professional footballer and Wales manager Gary Speed, who tragically took his own life on Sunday. Read more …

This week’s media round up

By Daniel Saunders on November 23, 2011 | Category: Blog | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments

Pressure continued to mount on Sepp Blatter after his comments on the extent of racism in football. Combined with last week’s poppy row, this story ensured that the FIFA president retained its place at the top of the week’s coverage. Meanwhile at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press began and is likely to remain in the headlines in weeks to come.

In other news, youth unemployment continued to rise, breaking the one million mark for the first time. Government-owned Northern Rock is sold to Virgin Money for £747 million and protesters are forcibly removed from the Occupy Wall Street demonstration in New York.

Read more …