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Our missing two pennyworth.

CHANCELLOR Philip Hammond will meet Metro mayors today to discuss the Northern Powerhouse. Teesside will have a representative there, but the rest of the North East does not have a metro mayor to field.

It may be argued that we are not, on this occasion, missing much. Mr Hammond will do a bit of glad-handing, no doubt, utter a few smooth bromides and then beetle off back to London.

However, that misses the point. That fact that he is venturing north at all shows that, with big hitters like Andy Burnham now installed as mayors, the Government has to respond to the Northern agenda.

It has ground to make up after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling's recent blundering contributions.

But for the five Tyne and Wear councils, Durham and Northumberland, our ability to put our two pennyworth into the debate is constrained by the lack of a metro mayor.

Much as one may argue that this shouldn't matter, it DOES matter.

The sooner the northern part of the North East can at last get its regional agenda off the ground, the better. We have some catching up to do.

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2017
Words:188
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