North South Divide
So York & Leeds once again see cars floating in the City Centres as carnage arrives with hideous flooding. Manchester too saw unthinkable damage. You then ask would such disaster be acceptable to Oxford or Cambridge or our capital of London. Ask further would it be allowed to happen again and again. Then ask about the monies spent on protecting London and compare this to say York.
How the tides have turned. York, or historically Eoforīc, has been one of our most treasured cities and indeed when the Romans decided to visit they treated York as one of their key cities. Then, as now, the Foss and Ouse were major problems with heavy rainfall costing the City dear yet London with the mighty Thames running through it faced similar issues. The Thames barrier has since been a huge infrastructure put in to keep our capital city dry and safe. Where are the answers for our Northern cities?
Of course this is not a simple political choice of right over left. Labour have held power for too long to be devoid of blame. The question is why, when faced with choices, does the decision to keep our populous of commercial and residential in these Northern cities face such risk. This has a direct affect on growth because why would a key investment decision allow a company to invest infrastructure in a Northern flood threatened city, when it could do so more safely in a better funded and better protected London? By not protecting our Northen cities, we are in effect funnelling business choices away from these centres to the south.
A more level playing field makes our country stronger. This Government should move away from rhetoric and find a way to investing real money into long lasting solutions to make the Northern cities real centres of power. This dream is apparently on the Chancellors agenda so let’s see some proof in the pudding with the first rule of growth being the belief in the product.