Thursday, September 01, 2016
Talking about the North East Metro Mayor on BBC Look North
I was knee deep in pond water in Sunniside being filmed for a local history DVD this morning when I got a call from the BBC to ask for an interview. At long last, Gateshead Council's Cabinet appears to be on the verge of a u-turn and next Tuesday is expected to agree to sign up to the North East devolution settlement, complete with elected mayor. So far, Gateshead has been the lone voice fighting the devolution plans. Labour in Gateshead had hoped to bring down the devolution policy and damage the government in March but their hoped for revolution against a key Conservative policy spectacularly backfired when a display of comradely solidarity failed to materialise. Since then, Gateshead has been dithering as to whether to sign up or declare UDI and become the People's Republic of Gateshead. As independence from the rest of the region would see Gateshead kicked out of the arrangement to run the Metro and would prevent the borough being the recipient of any regional cash from the government, going it alone was totally unsustainable. Labour peered over the edge of the cliff and a about to step back. Hooray!
My interview on BBC Look North can be viewed on this link.