Thursday, August 14, 2008

Northerners: Leave your homes and all move South!

Well, that is not actually quite the message of the Policy Exchange report released today but it sure does sound like it.

Iain Dale has his take here, with a helpful extract from the introduction. The full document is here, I no I have not as yet read it.

The premise seems to be that regeneration money has not actually kept the cities of the north with growth of the south. Obviously you would have to ask just how bad would it be had the money not been spent.

The point is well made, and the reports introduction does scream the answer, alas the report seems to miss the answer it is screaming on page one and prefers the answer that John Prescott obviously feels a bit insulting and David Cameron thinks is mad, which is that people should move to the same corner of the country. Is anyone going to ask us southerners if we want to take all this internal migration? What of the cities of the north now denuded of all their aspirational talent? Is this not just going to make some very bad situations worse?

As Iain points out above, Cardiff is doing well in its regeneration.

So what is the answer? Well the introduction of the report states:
Places that enjoyed the conditions for creating wealth in the coal-powered 19th-century often do not do so today. Port cities had an advantage in an era when exporting manufactured goods by sea was a vital source of prosperity; today the sea is a barrier to their potential for expansion and they are cut off from the main road transport routes.
Just re read that several times. Particularly "and they are cut off from the main road transport routes."

If you look at every deprived area of the country, and they exist in the south east as well as the north, you will note the lack of proper transport links. Hastings is an example of relative deprivation as is Weymouth.

The short answer is to build better road, rail and air transport to all these areas. Build the transport links and the business will come, its basic O level geography. What is more, the person representing the report on the news today seemed to know that transport is what built these cities, he just has not worked out that if those modes of transport have moved on, we can build new ones.

Something that is clear to me though, is that if the Conservative party wishes to build a prosperous Conservative country it needs to build road and rail like never before.

The BBC has this

1 comment:

Anonymous said...