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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1 - THE CORE CITIES GROUP . . .



Our place in the Core Cities Group seems to me something that we HAVE to (as a City) take real advantage of. I see it as akin to, on an international level, the "G7" or the "United Nations" for the UK . . .

We NEED to be in it (we are).

We NEED to be influencing 'within' it (are we?).

In this small little country of ours, with its almost 100% media-driven obsession with London and the South East, we need organisations like this to help us INFLUENCE. Non-London places need to influence the London-based government far more than they do, but as 'individual cities' even the Regional Capitals (such as ourselves) who represent the whole region simply because of their role in the region and because of their name, can find it difficult to attract the (genuine) attention of London-based organisations.

So, theoretically, the 'Core Cities' organisation should be a very good one for us.

However, we need to be a relevant and influential part of it.

LINK - http://www.corecities.com/home

Perhaps we can use this thread to report on the extent to which we achieve that (and any other) aims, and to monitor the groups activities and achievements?

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
2 - THE NORTHERN WAY . . .



Another separate grouping that may be ineffective (as perhaps the 'Core Cities Group' is, I dont know) is The Northern Way.

I was looking into them too, on the Internet recently, when I saw they seem to be working together (?)

__________________


From the 'The Northern Way" Website . . .

20th August 2009, Core Cities Summit 2009

3rd & 4th November, BT Conference Centre, ACC Liverpool

The Northern Way is delighted to announce our support of the 2009 Core Cities Summit which will take place in Liverpool on 3rd & 4th November.

The Core Cities Summit will be the primary urban policy forum for 2009 and will give an opportunity to engage with the country's leading city stakeholders.

The theme for this year's summit is "Setting a New Agenda - Together" and will concentrate on three main areas:

1 Beyond Recession: A New Vision for City Economies
2 Safeguarding Employment
3 Increasing Investment

The Summit will be hosted by BBC Politics Correspondent Jon Sopel and confirmed speakers include:
Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats
Will Hutton, Chief Executive of The Work Foundation
Kjell Nordstrom, Best Selling Author and Innovation Guru
Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council
Rory Bremner, Leading Comedian and Impressionist
Dermot Finch, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities
Sir Richard Leese, Leader of Manchester City Council
Chris Murray, Director of Core Cities
John Shipley, Leader of Newcastle City Council


Link - http://www.thenorthernway.co.uk/news.asp?id=752

___________________


So, The Northern Way seems to be yet another 'grouping' that it may be dangerous for us to stay out of, but whether we can punch our weight enough to get any benefits from . . I don't know. Also, whether they will be effective at all (whether for this region or any other) I am a bit uncertain about . . .

It is interesting that the two groups ('Core Cities' and 'Northern Way') seem to be helping eachother out in some way?

Does anyone know anything about, or had any experience with, either of these two organisations?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Posted by gregstone on September 28th 2009, on the old "Full Summary of Projects" thread . . .

Council leader John Shipley is on the Core Cities group and the Northern Way transport group, both of which regularly meet with Adonis on the HSR issue. These groups are pushing the "H network" model - West Coast, East Coast, and a highspeed Liverpool-Hull via Leeds and Manchester connector.
So, while this post wasn't very long ago (though I had not remembered it) but now I have found it, it shows that the seriously important issue of the 'High Speed Rail Network' is one of the things both Core Cities and Northern Way have an interest/input in.

The above topic is a very good example to show WHY we need to be 'involved and influential' with both these groups.

It is a good example, because there are plenty of others (other cities, other areas) amongst both groupings, who might well prefer the high speed train route to actually NOT come to or via Newcastle.

"Keep your friends close to you, and your enemies even closer" . . ("especially when you do not know which is which")
 

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Core Cities group (Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield, Newcastle, Nottingham, Bristol, Birmingham) is a very useful network of the major English cities (excluding London) and a lot of important information-sharing and joint lobbying is done through this group; central government knows it can't ignore an organisation which speaks for such a major part of the nation. It may not have a high public profile but I'm not sure it really needs one; most of its work is behind the scenes. Newcastle (and especially John Shipley) certainly punches its weight in CC - we are regarded as one of the lead players on climate change, on the receession, and on development funding.

Northern Way is a little different in that it is a top-down central Govt Prescott initiative which was originally aimed at the M62 corridor and was only extended to the NE as a very late afterthought; it is mostly RDA-led, and hasn't really met its goals in my opinion.

NB Core Cities are very clear that the Govt should be aiming for a high speed network, not just a one-off single line.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Today, I was looking at the two websites of these two 'quango-type organisations' that Newcastle is a part of. There seemed to be NOTHING at all happening with "Core Cities". There was relatively little happening (it seems) with "Northern Way" either, but at least on their site I found the below (that I have not noticed before) about CITY REGIONS. I'm not sure whether ours will ever achieve anything, but (at least) here is the 'blurb' about it, from the NORTHERN WAY Website, which MAY (perhaps) be of interest . . .


Tyne & Wear City Region

Our Vision for Economic Development.


Our vision for the City Region is based on two elements:

1 - Achieving a more competitive City Region, building competitive industries and world class talent resulting in improved economic output.

2 - Achieving a more economically inclusive City Region, ensuring economic opportunity and access for all.

In our City Region Development Plan, we illustrated three objectives we needed to deliver on in order to realise our vision:

1 - More effective economic regeneration and better alignment of policy and strategy at the City Region level
2 - Increase the opportunities for more people in the City Region to obtain sustainable and high value employment
3 - Strengthen the transport connections within the City Region and externally with regional, national and global markets and places.

The success in achieving our vision, that of creating a more competitive and a more economically inclusive City Region, is determined and driven by a number of important related elements:

- An acceptance of the benefits of working together as a means of helping shape economic and social development
- Achieving both sustainable and accelerated growth but not at the expense of the environment or the quality of place
- Becoming more connected
- building more effective internal and external transport links so that the City Region can embrace the global perspective, supported by a digital future that helps to create sustainable businesses and communities
- Reducing economic and social gaps
- Enabling more people to undertake training or employment
- A commitment by partners to work across local boundaries and to support markets.


About the Tyne and Wear City Region . .

The Tyne and Wear City Region is a partnership of all five Tyne and Wear local authorities, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside, together with Northumberland and Durham. The Partnership also includes the business community, voluntary and community sector and regional partners.

The Tyne and Wear City Region lies at the heart of the economic and cultural life of North East England.

It exists to help build closer and stronger relationships between different places in the City Region to enable us to compete both domestically and internationally. Stronger collaboration between the major areas of the region is vital as they each possess key assets that will drive future economic growth.

We have a vision for the Tyne & Wear City Region as a beacon of economic prosperity that our people and communities deserve.

One that competes with any other region nationally and is internationally recognised as a place for businesses to invest and entrepreneurs to thrive. One that produces well educated, aspirational young people who want to live and work in the region because of the economic prospects and the outstanding quality of life on offer. A highly skilled workforce that is the envy of others and is highly attractive to the private sector.

Quite simply, as a City Region we will use the combined efforts of the public and private sectors to eliminate the productivity gap with the rest of the UK and become a net contributor instead. In short, we will become better connected, more prosperous and help our area be proud of all its achievements and its ongoing potential.


Multi Area Agreement (MAA)

A Multi-Area Agreement (MAA) is a framework in which adjoining local authorities work in partnership. Through MAAs local authorities can go beyond their administrative boundaries to better reflect the real economic geography of their area and work in a more strategic and coordinated way to meet challenges. An MAA is formed through a voluntary agreement between local authorities who enter into a contract with central government, but rather than instructions coming from the top, MAAs work from the bottom up.

The Tyne and Wear City Region MAA represents a unique opportunity to strengthen the public, private, voluntary and community sector partnership that has been formed to help drive sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the Tyne and Wear City Region.
More

Our MAA will enable us to widen and deepen our partnership approach, to prioritise our actions, and to set a clear direction for the City Region.

Particular challenges have been identified where it is felt an MAA can add significant value to strengthening the City Region economy. Those challenges are skills and employment and transport.

With its clear focus on boosting critical assets, such as labour markets and transport infrastructure, the MAA will help us to address the economic challenges that are facing the City Region at present. Crucially, our MAA will provide the basis for strengthening our current partnership working and for removing some of the barriers that, at present, prevent us from unlocking the full economic potential of our City Region.

The Multi Area Agreement lays down 11 ‘asks’ of Government to change existing Central Government - Local Government relationships, which City Region partners say need amending if the City Region is to compete successfully with national and international cities and city regions and if more people are to access education and training and quality public transport.

In the MAA there are commitments by Government which include:

Working with the City Region and Highways Agency to define a programme of improvements to the major strategic roads in the City Region (A1 and A19) within the next three years.

Recognising the City Region as a consultee on rail policy and facilitate a strategic dialogue between the City Region and rail operator based on examining how best to improve commuter rail services in the City Region.

Examining with the City Region how transportation funding could better support young people to access employment and learning opportunities via the use of public transport

Exploring how the City Region should strengthen its relationship with the Highways Agency

Identifying how the Higher Education Funding Council provide further flexibility to enable colleges to deliver foundation degrees that better match the specific needs of employers and individuals

Integrating employment and skills provision so that national Government training objectives better match the objectives of the City Region partners.
 

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Today, I was looking at the two websites of these two 'quango-type organisations' that Newcastle is a part of. There seemed to be NOTHING at all happening with "Core Cities". There was relatively little happening (it seems) with "Northern Way" either, but at least on their site I found the below (that I have not noticed before) about CITY REGIONS. I'm not sure whether ours will ever achieve anything, but (at least) here is the 'blurb' about it, from the NORTHERN WAY Website, which MAY (perhaps) be of interest . . .
Presumably the reason not much is happening is that until the election result is finalised no one knows who they need to be lobbying. There's little point doing a lot of work when you can't publish it and don't know who to aim it at.

The Northern Way will presumably cease to exist if the Tories wind up the RDAs that comprise it, although they've done a lot of interesting research looking at differences within the north and between the cities therein; as well as in terms of inter-regional transport. Perhaps if the Tories give development funding to the local authorities those areas with strong partnerships will form a voluntary Northern Way for the northern metropolises?
 

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Northern Way bites the dust - Part 2

Report: Prospects in North 'bleak' without strong regional policy
By Sarah Townsend Monday, 14 March 2011

http://www.regen.net/Economic_Development/article/1059735/report-prospects-north-bleak-without-strong-regional-policy/

"The Government will fail in its objective to rebalance the economy away from the south of England unless it reinstates regional governance bodies and ploughs greater resources into the North, a new report warns."

I kept on reading and this was the next article!

The irony of the juxtaposition shouldn't be overlooked!
 

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Northern Way achieved spectacularly little - classic example of Labour top-down initiative with a vaguely plausible function, but no real idea of what it should do other than spending a lot of money on some highly paid public sector chiefs, offices, and a healthy budget for consultants' reports and networking events.

True story: at the launch of the Northern Way, Prescott arrived in Govt Office NW in a foul temper and angrily ordered the civil servants to "change the map" to colour in the North East on the backdrop of the launch event - up until the last minute the plan had been to base the Northern Way on the M62 corridor, missing out the NE completely.
 

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. . . at the launch of the Northern Way, Prescott arrived in Govt Office NW in a foul temper and angrily ordered the civil servants to "change the map" to colour in the North East . . . .
after which it became know as Prescott's Banana.

Saw him the other week. The anger didn't seem to have mellowed.
 

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Northern Way achieved spectacularly little - classic example of Labour top-down initiative with a vaguely plausible function, but no real idea of what it should do other than spending a lot of money on some highly paid public sector chiefs, offices, and a healthy budget for consultants' reports and networking events.

True story: at the launch of the Northern Way, Prescott arrived in Govt Office NW in a foul temper and angrily ordered the civil servants to "change the map" to colour in the North East on the backdrop of the launch event - up until the last minute the plan had been to base the Northern Way on the M62 corridor, missing out the NE completely.
No offence intended, but your party is part of a coalition which is destroying the RDA's.
I wouldn't be quite so smug about other political parties efforts on behalf of this region, if I were you.
 

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The point is that a lot of what Labour did was big initiatives, big spend, big overheads, and not a lot of output - and this multiplied across government is part of the reason the country's £1 trillion in the red.
 

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I asked Alan Beith to ask this parliamentary question about the Northern Way project. The answer appears to be £126m spent and bugger all achieved - the "evaluation" is very coy about outputs and admits that the N/S divide worsened.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-03-31a.49744.h&s=speaker:10034#g49744.q0

That £126m could have been spent on funding a lot of Regional Growth Fund projects or buying up ONE sites...
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Northern Way shut down after losing funding
by jez Davison, Evening Gazette, June 27th 2011


AN economic development initiative involving One North East has shut down due to a lack of funding.

The Northern Way, a partnership of the three Northern development agencies, was launched in 2004 to influence policy and improve the economic performance of the North.

It has ceased to exist, though, after the Government announced the abolition of RDAs as part of a bonfire of public sector quangos.


The Northern Way Logo

Northern Way chairman Hugh Morgan Williams was philosophical about the closure, claiming the partnership had done well “in an era of profound economic change”.

He said: “There is a strong agreement about the need to re-balance our economy. “Public sector spending is under scrutiny like never before, with reductions in the overall budgets available. “All of our partners expressed a strong desire that The Northern Way should continue its work.

“But even a skeleton operation costing £200,000 over the next 12 months could not survive the cost-cutting pressures our partners faced, both nationally and in the North.”


Read More - http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/business-news/latest-business-news/2011/06/27/the-northern-way-shut-down-after-losing-funding-51140-28948246/

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Discussion Starter #17
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This article, posted on the 'High Speed Rail' thread, also relates to the CORE CITIES Group . . .

NewcastleStu; 28th August 2011 said:
Potential for Newcastle to bid for independent transport funding: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/aug/27/transport-policy-independence-cities-growth

Don't know if it'll actually happen but it's an interesting idea.
Transport policy independence for Core Cities
in economic growth plan

Daniel Boffey, The Guardian, Saturday 27 August 2011


Minister for cities Greg Clark asks the eight core cities to make a bid for new powers as part of devolution project, and the government hopes cities might strike public-private deals to build new high-speed lines.

English cities are to be given new freedoms, including control over transport investment, under plans designed to spark economic growth.

Greg Clark, the minister for cities, intends to change the law so that he can strike deals between Whitehall and eight core cities that would allow them to set their own policies.

Leaders from Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and Sheffield have been asked to make a bid for new powers and to treat London's independence under its mayor, Boris Johnson, as a role model for the future.

It is understood that a number of the cities want to take over skills training from national programmes so that they can cater to local employers' demands.

The devolution of power over transport could also see cities arranging joint public-private deals to connect each other through high-speed rail lines.


Read More - http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/aug/27/transport-policy-independence-cities-growth
 

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Discussion Starter #18
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Further to ^^

Devolution of power intended to help Newcastle regenerate
by Richard Fletcher, The Journal, August 29th 2011


DEVOLUTION of key powers to Newcastle could see the city making its own decisions on rail ticket pricing and jobs training.

An announcement by Cities Minister Greg Clark could mean major cities including Newcastle get to choose how they tackle areas such as transport investment and training needed for jobs in the region.

It might even mean cities make their own arrangements for how they connect to each other through high-speed railway.

He has told cities to use London’s independence as a model. The eight 'Core Cities' to gain powers to spark economic growth will be:

Newcastle
Birmingham
Bristol
Leeds
Liverpool
Manchester
Nottingham
and
Sheffield.

But the announcement was met with caution by Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes, who said devolution promises had been made in the past but not come to anything.

He also stressed that the Government could not pass the buck on responsibility for economic redevelopment and any powers also had to be backed up by investment rather than making Newcastle residents pay for things by themselves. He will be meeting Greg Clark when he comes to Newcastle on Wednesday morning.

Coun Forbes added: “Just telling me I have the powers might not help because these things need to be planned. But I’m enthusiastic about more opportunities from the Government.”

I think there are deals to be done which will allow policies to be different in one city than another


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2011/08/29/devolution-of-power-intended-to-help-newcastle-regenerate-61634-29319158/#ixzz1WPAuIq60
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Newcastle City Council to highlight city’s bid for cash
by Adrian Pearson, The Journal, January 21st 2012


MINISTERS will next week be asked to act urgently to help cities such as Newcastle return to economic growth. Cities’ minister Greg Clark will hear again the case for new powers when he appears at the launch of the Centre for Cities’ annual report on Monday.

Putting forward the case for Newcastle will be council leader Nick Forbes, who has already held detailed talks with the minister, along with Gateshead Council leader Mick Henry. Mr Forbes will present his case after seeing the results of a think tank’s latest look at how England’s biggest cities are performing in the face of Government spending cuts.

In order to tackle rising unemployment and grow the regional economy, Tyneside has put together a bid for cash borrowing powers, in which money to build new shopping centres and offices is paid back by the business rates of those using them. The scheme has already being described by Mr Clark as the most impressive of all those bidding for Accelerated Development Zone status, as the Treasury call such bids.

Officers at Newcastle City say that by using tax incremental financing they will pay for £150m worth of “critical infrastructure” in Newcastle and Gateshead. This, they say, will “unlock” key developments such as East Pilgrim Street and create more than 1,000 temporary construction jobs, around 17,000 permanent, mainly knowledge-intensive jobs and an annual uplift to the economy of £700m.


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2012/01/21/newcastle-council-chief-nick-forbes-to-highlight-city-s-bid-for-cash-61634-30168494/#ixzz1k5LIo9Hm
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Peter Hain speech reignites North East
Regional Assembly debate

by William Green, The Journal, February 3rd 2012


VOTERS in the North East would welcome a regional assembly, it was claimed last night. Former Cabinet Minister Peter Hain said the “English question” in terms of devolution had never been answered and had left a “festering sore”.

The Labour MP for Neath suggested that after 18 months of coalition cuts, the region was now ready to take on new powers. He has been backed by senior Labour peer Jeremy Beecham, a front bench spokesman and past chairman of the party’s national executive committee. He said the region was being held back by a fragmented structure and supported the transfer of major powers to a regional assembly.

Mr Hain said during a talk at the London School of Economics: “It could be a regional government in the North East of England – rejected, I know, in 2004 but rejected on a kind of Mickey Mouse offer where the powers were not really real and the timing wasn’t right.

“Under a Tory-led Government, I think we could easily win that referendum now.”


Read More - http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-east-news/todays-news/2012/02/03/peter-hain-speech-reignites-regional-assembly-debate-61634-30256717/#ixzz1lJRIpHAq


Our forum only started in 2009, five years after the rejection of the previous proposal for an elected North East Regional Assembly, but here is what we have on the forum about that 2004 event . . .

Newcastle Historian; November 5th 2010 said:
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The Journal and Evening Chronicle - Friday November 5th 2004.

Can you believe it : THIS happened exactly SIX YEARS ago, TODAY . . .









As ever, I am happy to do enlargements of particular articles from the above pages, if requested!
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Newcastle Historian; November 12th 2010 said:
Within the 'inside pages' of the newspapers in the previous post from November 5th 2004, from when we rejected the proposal for an elected independent North East England Regional Assembly - there is an interesting breakdown of how each part of our region actually voted.

How did your area vote??


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