Sunderland Labour Group has today (12 July) accused the Government of ‘neglecting the North’ after a new report found that almost half of the jobs created in England since 2010 have been in London and the South East.

Speaking following the release of the ‘A good life in all regions’ report by the Fabian Society, Cllr Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland Labour Group, accused the Conservatives of a ‘dereliction of duty’ over their commitment to ‘Levelling Up’ the UK.

The report, which was commissioned by the leading think-tank to explore the true scale of poverty and regional inequality across the UK, found that regional inequality in the UK is ‘without parallel in the developed world’.

The most startling finding was the lack of job opportunities spread across the UK since 2010, with 47% of the total jobs created in England going to London and the South East and only 2% being created in the North East.  This is despite the North East accounting for 5% of England’s population and London and the South East accounting for just 32%.

It also revealed that regional inequality in both productivity and household income are the highest of any nation in the developed world, despite the Government making ‘Levelling Up’ a key priority to address regional inequality.

Cllr Miller said: “The findings from the Fabian Society lay bare just how little this Conservative Government cares about regions such as the North East.

“Over the past 13 years, we’ve had five different Conservative Prime Ministers, each one of which has stood on a platform of promising to ‘Level Up’ and address regional inequality.

“Yet, despite each and every one of them making it a key pledge, this report just reiterates what we already knew. It was never anything more than a soundbite.

“They’ve failed to deliver the jobs they promised. Failed to address the disparity in household income and have failed to address stalling productivity.

“It has never been more evident that the Conservatives don’t work for areas like the North of England and only a Labour Government can help us build a truly better Britain.”

As well as shining a light on the scale and impact of regional equality in the UK, the report also set out a number of practical solutions, big and small, to help drive social and economic growth in the UK’s regions.

This included cities embracing the Real Living Wage – something Sunderland become the first in the North East to do last year -, empowering councils and local authorities to do more, council’s taking back control of job centres and more devolved economic development funding.

Cllr Miller added: “Having already secured what will be a transformational devolution deal for the North East this year, we are already shaping a new political landscape that will bring new funding and decision-making powers back to the region, but we can’t afford to stop there.

“Over the coming years, we will see first-hand just how much stronger we are as a region when we are responsible for shaping our own destiny, and as we look to the future, we must continue lobbying the Government for even more funding and decision-making powers to ensure we continue to build on this momentum.”

The compilation of the report was supported by the City of London, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Trust for London and the Dartmouth Street Trust.

To read more about its findings and recommendations, visit: