Sharon has joined Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, in hitting out at the Government for attempting to mask the Government’s lack of a plan to invest in the North East’s transport infrastructure.
In a letter sent to all Members of Parliament on 12th December, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling suggested that the “Northern regions” of England would receive £1,039 per head in planned transport infrastructure spending to the year 2021, which is £13 more than London’s £1,026,
But, on closer inspection, it appears that the Transport Secretary deliberately grouped the North East together with the North West to make the Government’s transport spend look higher.
An analysis of the Government’s transport spending plans, which informed the letter, reveals that planned transport spending in the North East is currently only £822, compared to £1,353 for the North West. Instead of providing a real figure for each of the north’s separated regions, Mr Grayling’s letter simply provided an average, giving the impression that transport funding is equally spread throughout England. The planned spend per head in Yorkshire and Humber currently sits at £726.
Commenting on the Transport Secretary’s letter, Sharon said:
“It is shocking that the Transport Secretary has fudged his figures to put a positive spin on the transport infrastructure spend for the North East. Clearly, he believed he could pull the wool over the eyes of the regions MPs and the people of the North East; however, he has failed in doing so.
“The North East deserves the right levels of transport funding to unlock much-needed economic growth and ensure that there is a level playing field when it comes to how infrastructure spending is allocated across the country, and not have a Government who mask the damning reality of their failed approach to regional growth.”
Commenting on the Transport Secretary’s letter, Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, said:
“This kind of creative accounting on the part of the Transport Secretary serves only to draw attention to the Government’s lack of planned transport spending in the North East.
“In reality, it’s clear the Government is failing to provide adequate funding for transport infrastructure in our region whilst at the same time pumping billions into London and projects like HS2.”
You can read the letter to MPs from Chris Grayling here: Letter to MPs from Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling
Planned Central Government transport capital spending per head across regions
Claimed spending by Chris Grayling by ‘regions’
Northern Regions (North West, North East, Yorkshire and Humber) £1,039 per head
Middle regions (East of England, East Midlands and West Midlands) £1,076 per head
Southern regions (London, South East and South West) £1,029 per head
Investment per person (£, 2016/17 prices)
East Midlands £946
East of England £994
North East £822
North West £1,353
South East £1,139
South West £851
West Midlands £1,269
Yorkshire and the Humber £726