How does the North East feel about their new Mayor?

Written by on 13th May 2024

In the aftermath of this year’s local elections, there has been a big change in how the North East is governed.

We now have a mayor, a devolved leader who has powers over transport, and local investment as well as serving as a powerful voice for the region.

The idea of regional devolution is not a new one however, Tony Blair was the first Prime Minister to introduce devolution in Scotland and Wales, although a referendum for a North East devolved assembly was resoundingly rejected, putting to bed the idea of regional devolution for over a decade.

But that was then, and this is now. We have a mayor and all that’s left to ask is what do people actually think of the position?

We went around the North East to see what the general feeling is toward devolution in the North East.

One man we spoke to, Thomas Hall, 70, said:

“Personally I believe that the appointment is more of a political appointment … I don’t think she (Kim McGuinness) has the business experience that I believe people need to bring investment into the area … it’s more of a career progression”.

Megan Doherty, 20, had a rather bleak outlook on the authority, saying simply:

“No, I don’t believe any substantial changes will be made”.

There were some positives said about the new position however, another person we spoke to, Alima Khanom, 20, spoke of the benefits the new authority could have for the regions public transport links:

“I’ve heard they’re taking steps to take the buses into public ownership, that’s always positive, because public transit should exist for the benefit of everyone, making it public will allow the people to have a say in the changes that are needing to be made”.

Someone else who spoke positively of the new position was Robbie Scott, 19, a politics student from Newcastle. See what he had to say here:

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