Blog Archives

Who says we’re not funding the North?

Secretary of State – 8th June Social media has improved our lives in so many ways. But it has also taught us that having easy access to a vast supply of information doesn’t necessarily make us better informed. The internet is awash with false claims and inaccurate stories which people believe if they read them […]

I’m determined to reverse the decline of North’s bus services

Secretary of State Grant Shapps: 17 May, 2022  In 1285 in Ockham, Surrey, a monk called William was born. The humble theologian proffered that “Entities are not to be multiplied without necessity.” In plain English, this defines that for the most part, the solution to a problem is usually the simplest one. For many people […]

Levelling Up will help build a resilient North

Secretary of State 4 April Driffield in the East Riding of Yorkshire has a long and proud military history. Its airfield was used by the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War to combat Zeppelin airships. In the 1930s, it became a base for Bomber Command, and at the height of the Battle of […]

Yorkshire is at the forefront of driving change once more

Secretary of State – 16th March 2022 In six months’ time, Yorkshire will celebrate the 150th anniversary of a little-known event that was pivotal in shaping our modern democracy. In August 1872, voters at the Pontefract by-election became the first in British parliamentary history to cast their ballots in secret, in a bid to stamp […]

Time has shown, we are committed to levelling-up

Secretary of State – 23th February 2022 Oscar Wilde famously defined a cynic as someone who “knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” In other words, some people will find fault for fault’s sake, deliberately overlooking the benefits so they can carry on having an unearned grumble. It’s an adage which has […]

Let’s bring the birthplace of rail into the 21st century

Secretary of State  – 17 February 2022 In just eight years’ time we will celebrate a British first – the 200th anniversary of the world’s first intercity rail service between Manchester and Liverpool, an event which ushered in the railway age and changed transport for ever. The huge success of this first line sparked a frenzied […]

The IRP is reversing decades of declining train services across the North

Secretary of State Grant Shapps: 19 January, 2022 Dealing with criticism is part and parcel of running Britain’s railways. People hold passionate views about how train services can be managed and improved, and I welcome all opinions, as long as they are informed and constructive. However, when they are spectacularly wrong, politically motivated, or likely […]

The Integrated Rail Plan: Ignore doom mongers and naysayers

Secretary of State Grant Shapps: 22 December, 2021  When our Integrated Rail Plan came out last month, it set two records. The first was for the amount of public money spent on railways – a whopping £96 billion – every penny of it being spent in the Midlands and North, supporting connectivity and creating new […]

North-South Divide: What have the Romans ever done for us?

Secretary of State Grant Shapps: 06 November, 2021 The North-South divide – a concept that captivates this country – may be older than many people think. According to a new school of thought, it’s another thing we owe to the Romans. Preferring a warmer climate and easy trade links to the Continent, Roman legions quickly […]


  Secretary of State Grant Shapps: 23 October 2021 Is it possible that Northumberland – the cradle of George Stephenson’s ingenious railway, Josephine Butler’s tenacious suffrage, and the prodigious talent of the Charlton brothers – can also claim to be the home of climate activism? We all know of Northumberland’s beautiful scenery, and the region’s […]