The Northern Agenda

Which political story should we be paying more attention to: Angela Rayner or Mark Menzies?

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Episode notes

Which political story should we be paying more attention to: the saga of Angela Rayner's council house in Stockport or that of Lancashire MP Mark Menzies, who is accused of using political donations to cover medical expenses and pay off “bad people” who had locked him in a flat and demanded thousands of pounds for his release?

This week Rob Parsons compares the merits of these two stories with the Liverpool Echo's Liam Thorp. Meanwhile Liam tells us why he believes it was right to identify two local politicians who failed to pay council tax and why 'XL Gullies' are proving a menace to hungry workers in Liverpool city centre.

PLUS: Regular listeners to the podcast will have heard about lots of different examples of the North of England being on the wrong end of stark regional inequality. But it's still shocking to find out there are big differences in the numbers of vulnerable children going into care between our region and other parts of the country.

A new report sets out how one in every 52 children in Blackpool is in care compared with one in 140 across England, while the North of England accounts for just over a quarter (28%) of the child population, but more than a third (36%) of the children in care.

There's a human cost but an economic one too. Researchers for Health Equity North say if the North of England had experienced the same rates of children entering care as the South between 2019 and 2023, “it would have saved at least £25 billion”.

To find out why this is happening Rob speaks to one of the authors of the report, Professor David Taylor-Robinson from the University of Liverpool.

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