HS2 and the regeneration of Yorkshire and the North

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As a-life long member of the Labour Party I find myself at odds over the support Sheffield City Council has given to Government proposals for the extension of the High Speed Rail link for the North.

As things stand the economic gains expected remain very dubious, the expected jobs to be created are pure speculation, in terms of increasing Sheffield’s capacity to grow its economy is extremely doubtful.

I do not believe the proposals will do anything to address the very real and already identified problems from which Sheffield and the rest of Yorkshire suffers.

A free-market think tank says that the estimated cost of the high- speed rail proposals are not realistic, and the real cost could be £80bn, double the Government’s estimate. A rethink by the city council is essential!

Sheffield City Council should, along with its neighbours, be demanding the creation of a democratically-led regeneration body for the resources to help address the north-south divide.

We need to create a plan for northern renewal, based upon the creation of a proper northern regional government.

The High Speed Rail proposals are yet another stage in the rape of the North, creating a high-speed brain drain to supply London with highly qualified young people to help serve the mass of money- making institutions of the South East.

Ken Curran Snr

Sheffield