My Views

September 11th, 2023
Written by John Grogan

What better way for Bradford City Hall to start its second 150 years today than to host the Great Northern Conference in its magnificent council chamber which is often used by filmmakers as a double for Parliament itself.

Organised by the Yorkshire Post and the Northern Powerhouse the Conference discussed a proper levelling up agenda for a new government which could be elected next year. The Mayors of West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester topped the bill of speakers.

Five ideas struck me in particular:

  1. The North should settle for nothing less than a  high speed new rail line across the Pennines with a station in Bradford

  2. Everyone in the North needs access to high speed digital services at an affordable price to advance both their education and to play a full part in society

  3. Research funding in Yorkshire’s 11 universities should be brought into line with the 'golden triangle’ of higher education institutions in the South East

  4. If we could only invest properly in carbon capture and storage in old North Sea gas and oil fields engineers with Yorkshire accents could be as prominent around the world in the coming decades as Scottish engineers, who began their careers in those same locations, were in previous ones 

  5. We need a new Yorkshire and Humber Grand Committee in the next Parliament made up of all the region’s MPs to ensure the levelling agenda is scrutinised and delivered