The Government has finally faced up to huge gaps in opportunity, employment and transport for people in regions like ours.

But what we don’t see in the levelling up paper is evidence of a Government-wide belief that the best people to steer the future of Northumberland, Tyne and Wear are the people that live here. Our fate is still in the hands of officials in Whitehall.

Right now, we see only a piecemeal, and in some cases threadbare commitment to devolution. According to this paper we still get what we’re given.

The North-East, for example, is about to see the hardest hit communities cut off from public transport with 17% bus cuts caused by a lack of Government funding. A vague Government promise of them getting “something close to” London-style bus powers by 2030 is frankly a joke.

And for young people,  our region has seen on average 70% cuts to youth services-  this is a direct path to recued life chances and crime. Let the young people of Ashington, Byker, Hebburn, Houghton tell us what they need. Give us the money and the power and we will deliver.

Throughout this paper, we see examples of funding held by Whitehall officials which local areas are asked to bid in to, with a team in London deciding the winners and losers. That is not devolution, it won’t level us up. It is the exact thing we are campaigning against and a worrying sign that ministers still want control of local decision-making from the centre. To level up we urgently need new investment and powers and decision making handed to local people to control their own destiny.