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A historic chance to win power for our region

The next Labour Government will pave the way for the greatest era of English devolution in living memory, taking power out of London and back into the hands of the regions.

That's why I welcomed the Future of the UK report launched by Keir Starmer and Gordon Brown as a vitally important step towards creating the real change we need.

For too long now, under too many Governments, the North East just hasn't had the power it needs to tackle its unique challenges.

The North East has the highest child poverty rates in the country. If there was a bank in London going under the Tories would set up a taskforce and hand over billions of pounds to save the City. But when children starve in homes across the North there is no solution, for a simple reason; the people who care don't have the power and the people who have the power don't care.

As Police Commissioner I have funded projects that fight the effects of child poverty, because if we create genuine opportunities today we solve the crime of tomorrow. But to do that I have had to bid to the Home Office for one-off funds and wait to see if an official in Whitehall thinks it's good enough for a Home Office politician who has never been to Sunderland or Northumberland or Newcastle to back.

Every elected representative delivering public services knows the frustration of that "cap in hand" approach which sees the views of an unelected official in Westminster worth more than the views of the residents in the regions.

It has to end, it will end. The next Labour Government will transform the power system which holdback local public services. And we’ll do this by putting people at the centre of decision making.


Together We Can Reclaim Our Ambition

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