The Northern Agenda

😠 'I'm furious': Yorkshire mayor reacts to autumn statement 👪 What future for children of the North?

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Episode notes

Reactions are coming in following the Autumn Statement from Jeremy Hunt on Thursday - and one of those voicing their concern - and indeed, anger - is West of Yorkshire mayor Tracy Brabin.

The Labour metro mayor tells The Northern Agenda editor Rob Parsons why she is "furious" with the Chancellor, believing that her region has been left out by the Treasury.


It was nearly a year ago that a major report emerged which painted a stark picture of inequality for children growing up in the North of England post-pandemic compared to those in the rest of the country.

The massive costs to society and the UK’s economy of rising inequality were outlined in The Child of the North: Building a fairer future after COVID-19 report, written by over 40 leading academics from across the North with the Northern Health Science Alliance.

It looked at a wide range of factors, from child poverty to children in care, to build up a picture of the challenges faced by the young people trying to make their way across the region.

The report sets out 18 clear recommendations to tackle the widening gap - but did anyone listen?

Emma Lewell-Buck, the Labour MP for South Shields in the North East, tells the podcast about a new All-Party Parliamentary Group she is chairing, dedicated to the Child of the North.


And a big story in London cultural circles in the last few days is the future of the English National Opera.

It's currently based in London but Arts Council England, who provide much of its funding, say it will only carry on getting public sector support if it moves out of the capital, possibly to Manchester.

The likes of opera singer Sir Bryn Terfel are up in arms but the move is part of a wider move by the Arts Council to prioritise cultural schemes outside London - we've seen projects across the North be names as so-called National Portfolio Organisations for the first time meaning they'll get vital public subsidy to offer arts and culture in our towns and cities.

But even before this announcement, 2022 was shaping up to be a really positive year for Northern arts and culture, with a host of new venues either opening or re-opening.

The Factory – Manchester International Festival’s new permanent home – is set to reshape the city’s cultural output and standing, and promises “one of Europe’s most ambitious and adventurous year-round creative programmes”.

Randel Bryan, Executive Director and Deputy Chief Executive at Factory International, tells Rob about the exciting future for the arts in Manchester and the North


The Northern Agenda is a Laudable production for Reach. It is presented by Rob Parsons, and produced by Daniel J. McLaughlin.

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