That is why for anyone charged with improving living standard quality in the North of England – be they wealth creators in the form of business leaders or policy makers working hard at a local level – today’s report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research will come as no surprise.
In broadbrush terms it confirms that, despite this Government’s flagship ‘Level Up’ policy, the North of England looks set to fall further behind when it comes to quality of life and opportunity for those who call it home.
This newspaper does not begrudge Warrington the accolade of fastest growing city in the North; if we are to be the solution to the economic challenge faced by UK plc then it is the sum of our parts that will be key.
However, that Warrington is the North’s bright spot, whilst languishing in 20th position once you factor in places south of the country, is nothing short of scandalous.
The disparity shows in high definition the challenge ahead: not enough is being done to equalise opportunities in this country - and that is a fact.
Not enough is being done to energise the process, whether that is between the ears of the thinkers or at the elbows of the doers.
Well, enough is surely enough? Isn’t it now time to remove the job of Levelling Up from partisan political parties and make it the responsibility of a cross-party body that can work constructively towards a country that provides for all, regardless of the way the wind might blow in Westminster?
For one thing is clear: as things stand we are nothing more than an afterthought and an inconvenience.