Chancellor George Osborne has talked optimistically of a “northern powerhouse” of cities with beefed-up powers and responsibilities.
The North East, and especially Newcastle, is part of this powerhouse, as it should be. We look forward to Mr Osborne expanding on his theme in his Autumn Statement in December.
Yet there is a problem. The other cities that have been mentioned – Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield – are relatively close to each other. Newcastle is somewhat out on a limb. There is a risk that measures to help northern cities may not help the North East.
It is as well for us to have other options, which is why it is good news that the North East Local Enterprise Partnership is talking to the Scottish Government about ways we can help each other.
Such a task is made easier by Scotland’s continued membership of the United Kingdom. We look forward to it bearing fruit.