FOR far too long, London and the South East have been draining resources from the rest of the country. 
As a result, the economy of the UK is grotesquely skewed. 
Billions of pounds can be spent on London’s Crossrail project, but up in the North we struggle even to get major cross-country rail lines electrified, and many of our trunk roads are so poor that they strangle attempts at economic growth almost at birth. 
George Osborne’s vaunted Northern Powerhouse failed to deliver any tangible benefits, and there has been little progress in devolving any significant government functions away from London to the regions. 
So we are fully behind the new ‘Manifesto for the North’ launched today by business and political leaders in the North of England. 
The manifesto, produced by the Convention of the North and supported by all 11 Northern Local Enterprise Partnerships, sets out a five-point plan. 
It calls for: a commitment to rebalancing the economy - a transport budget for the North - regional autonomy over investment and trade to drive export-led growth - education and training tailored to regional needs - a Northern ‘green revolution’, with the region taking the lead in green technology. 
Many of these proposals reflect the aims of the Power Up The North campaign launched by The T&A and other regional newspapers earlier this year. 
All we want is a level playing field. National government has paid lip service for years to the idea of investing in the North, while continuing to pour money into London. 
Now we need action, not words