On his visit to Seaton Carew with Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary Stephen O'Brien MP (don't worry, I hadn't heard of him either) recently, Jeremy Middleton declared that there is "... the need for more investment and a coherent strategy for moving this area forward. In the past not enough regional funding has gone to such areas as Hartlepool - it's time we got our fair share."
I quite agree as it happens. And what better framework to enable this to happen than a democratically-elected regional assembly?
Fortunately, the campaign for a 'Yes' vote in the November 4th referendum on the subject has begun in earnest now the government's yawn-inducing information campaign has drawn to a close, according to today's Guardian. But who's this fronting up the 'No' campaign? None other than a certain Graham Robb. It's funny, because one of the charges thrown against the idea of regional assemblies is that they'll be bolt-holes for aspiring politicians who've failed to get elected to Westminster. Once again, my keyboard is silent on this.