Author Archives: Andrew Wilson

Warm welcome for Ed Miliband’s ‘regional banks’ proposal

The Hannah Mitchell Foundation, a campaign for Northern regional government, has warmly supported Ed Milband’s call for a network of regional banks.

“This is the sort of radical and creative thinking which Labour needs to do more of,” said the Foundation’s chair, Barry Winter. “Northern businesses – and people with new ideas – need the support of a banking system which understands the needs of the region. We simply don’t have that at the moment.”

The inspiration for the regional banks plan owes much to the experience of the German regional and local banks, the ‘sparkassen’. They are only able to lend within their region and have a duty to ‘promote civic growth’. Professor Paul Salveson, general secretary of the Foundation, commented that “there are many more lessons to be learnt from the German experience. Alongside regional banks the Germans have a highly effective system of directly-elected regional government which works closely with the regional banks. We need something similar here if we are serious about promoting a strong Northern economy”.

In 2011 the German local banks had a total loan stock of £280 billion whilst the figure for German commercial banks was only £153 billion. “Having a strong network of regional and local banks, some run as co-operatives and mutuals, is essential for the revival of the North’s economy. Working with a Northern regional government and empowered local authorities, we could reverse the decline of the region’s industrial base,” said Barry.

Ends/ For more information ring Paul Salveson 07795 008691

Download the document (MS Word doc): Welcome for Miliband’s regional banks proposal

Note for editors

The Hannah Mitchell Foundation is a broadly-based campaign for Northern devolution, supported by many Northern MPs and peers. Linda Riordan is president of the Foundation.

The Foundation was founded in March 2012 to lobby for devolution to the North of England and is rapidly building up support across the North of England. Its patrons include Lord Prescott, several MPs and the grand-son of Hannah Mitchell. Hannah (1871-1946) was a radical activist who was imprisoned during the agitation for women’s votes. She went on to become a popular councillor in the Newton Heath ward of Manchester. Although she had just two weeks of formal schooling she was a talented writer.

Report on “A Voice for the Northern Economy” IPPR North Conference

Many supporters of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation and readers of this website are familiar with the excellent work of the Institute for Public Policy Research North (IPPR North) and its collaboration with the Northern Economic Futures Commission (NEFC). Its report ‘Northern Prosperity is National Prosperity’ provides a vast amount of national and international research. It highlights the reasons why the northern economy has been in long-term decline and signposts a range of proposals for a better, fairer, future for the North. Interestingly, it identifies the Northern region of England, as does the Hannah Mitchell Foundation, as the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber.

This was the focus for the conference, ‘A Voice for the Northern Economy’, held in Leeds by IPPR North on 28 January 2013. The keynote speaker was Rachel Reeves MP for Leeds West, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Neil McLean Chair of Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) responded.

Read more of the report by Jenny Cronin here A Voice for the Northern Economy. IPPR North Conference (Opens a word document)

Hello! More about the Hannah Mitchell Foundation

Hello! If you are visiting our website for the first time after watching the BBC’s Inside Out programme (or you’ve come here by any other route), welcome!

About the Foundation

The Hannah Mitchell Foundation works for a fair and prosperous North of England.

For that to happen, people and places in the North must have the political authority and responsibility needed for us to take care of ourselves.

That means devolution to local and regional government just like in London, Wales and Scotland.

The Foundation is non-party political and has support from a broad progressive coalition based around values of democracy, fairness, inclusivity, self-reliance, enterprise and co-operation.

The President of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation is Linda Riordan, MP for Halifax, and Prof. Paul Salveson MBE is General Secretary.

About Hannah Mitchell

The Foundation is named after, and inspired by, Hannah Mitchell (1872–1956).

Hannah Mitchell was a lifelong fighter for democracy and fairness, put in Strangeways prison in 1906 during the campaign for votes for women. She went on to become a councillor in Manchester, representing Newton Heath.

In her autobiography The Hard Way Up she mentions one of her proudest achievements being the public wash house which she struggled to get built to make working class women’s lives easier.

Her desire for ‘beauty in civic life’ blossomed in her work on public libraries, parks and gardens.

Together we can build a fair and prosperous North.

Why not join us?

The full annual membership fee is £20, £10 concessionary rate and special under-21 rate of £5.

You can download a membership form by clicking “Join Us” above.

What we did in 2012

Read about how much the Foundation achieved in its first year here.

The Economic Transformation of the North

Professor Jeffrey Henderson describes how centralisation led to economic decline in England, and explains why only devolution to local and regional government can reverse that decline and create a fair and prosperous North.

“The fundamental problem that confronts the North, as it does in varying degrees every other region of Britain, is that of economic transformation. The question is not merely how to create economic growth (there was plenty of that during the 1990s and 2000s, but look where we are now), but how to build genuine development capable of delivering generalised and sustainable prosperity with low levels of inequality. If that can be done, then the country’s deepening social disintegration and many of the problems it has engendered, can be halted and reversed.”

Download the full paper: The Economic Transformation of the North

Jeffrey Henderson is a Professor at the University of Bristol and, currently, a Visiting Professor at the University of Leeds. He was born in County Durham and brought up there and in Yorkshire. He returned to the North in 1990 and lived first in Manchester and then in Leeds. He now lives partly in Leeds and partly in Bristol. Between 1992 and 1994 he was an advisor to Robin Cook MP, then Shadow Minister of Trade and Industry. During that time he worked on Cook’s economic policy manifesto, Re-Making Britain’s Future.

What we did in 2012

We were formally established in Bradford on March 9th 2012. Over the last year we’ve gradually built up our membership, had a significant influence in the media, and developed a strong and supportive steering group. Here are some of our key activities last year:

  • 120 people attended our launch event in Bradford City Hall; we received extensive regional and national publicity and had a robust debate with campaigners for an English Parliament
  • We have spoken at over 20 different outside events, including Labour Party, trade union, and non-aligned groups including University of the 3rd Age!
  • We have built up a strong body of patrons including several MPs, peers and campaigners
  • Our own events have been well supported: our fringe meeting during Labour Party conference in Manchester was brilliant, with over 70 turning up
  • Our parliamentary reception at the House of Commons was well attended by MPs, peers and HMF supporters, despite being in the attic
  • We’ve had a well-supported early day motion and an adjournment debate in the House of Commons, thanks to our president, Linda Riordan
  • Our summer school held at the Westwood Centre in the Colne Valley was an enjoyable, productive and fun event which generated lots of good ideas
  • We had a strong presence at Durham Miners’ Gala, NW Labour Party Conference, Chesterfield May Day and Wigan Diggers’ Festival
  • Our Christmas Party in Sowerby Bridge brought together many friends and supporters in a convivial atmosphere to hear Martin Wainwright talk about ‘True North’
  • We have had extensive media coverage, through news reports in the regional media, letters in The Guardian and elsewhere, and features in magazines such as Red Pepper, Chartist, Yorkshire Post and numerous web-based magazines
  • Our website has gradually developed and we are nearly at the stage of launching a re-vamped version. We are on facebook and twitter

AGM 2013

The Foundation’s Annual General Meeting will be on Saturday April 13th in the Friends Meeting House, York.

Further details with an agenda will follow but we aim to start at 12.15 with a light lunch and time to socialise, followed by the usual AGM things, some stimulating presentations, and plenty of time for discussion groups on what we do next.

Quaker Meeting House

Phone number: 01904 624 065

Station: York, 1/2 mile.
Buses: Stop on Clifford Street at end of Friargate.
Parking: Castle (short stay), St George’s Field (long stay).

more information about the venue is here

The Future Governance of England

Dr Andy Mycock, Academy for British and Irish Studies at the University of Huddersfield, writes:

“The past decade has been marked by an increased resonance in the profile of debates regarding Englishness and English political nationalism. However dispute endures amongst commentators about whether the metaphoric English nationalist ‘dog’ remains docile or has begun to bark when compared to so-called ‘Celtic’ nationalisms elsewhere in the UK. The prospect of referenda on Scottish independence and the UK’s membership of the European Union will surely intensify debates about the future of England.

Paramount to such discussions will be attempts to provide satisfactory answers to the so-called ‘English Questions’ of constitutional reform and governance and the perceived ‘Anglicisation’ of the Westminster parliament in the wake of devolution. The debate on the Future Governance of England will bring together two leading proponents who will offer alternative solutions to current English constitutional dilemmas.

Eddie Bone is currently the Chairman of the Campaign for an English Parliament ( and is editor of England! magazine. He has campaigned widely both radio and television for the need for a Parliament for England, arguing English democratic concerns are being ignored. He passionately believes that England needs its own parliamentary voice and to promote a positive civic nationalism that would benefit all of England.

Paul Salveson is a Visiting Professor in the Department of Transport and Logistics at the University of Huddersfield and a councillor for the Golcar ward. He is General Secretary of the Hannah Mitchell Foundation ( The Foundation works for a fair and prosperous North of England through devolution to local and regional government. It is non-party political and has support from a broad progressive coalition based around values of democracy, fairness, inclusivity, self-reliance, enterprise and co-operation. Paul argues the North is missing out while Scotland, Wales and London have their own devolved administrations.

The debate is sponsored by the Academy for British and Irish Studies at the University of Huddersfield and the Politics Studies Association Britishness Specialist Group. It will be chaired by Dr Andy Mycock and will allow Eddie and Paul to outline their proposals for the future governance of England. The event is free and open to all those interested in issues concerning English political and cultural nationalism.”

The debate will take place on Thursday 28th February 2013 at 4.15pm-6.15pm in The Researchers’ Hub, Peter Higgs Suite (RH1/09). To book a place, please email Angela Sprawson a.c.sprawson AT hud DOT ac DOT uk

We’re updating our website.

February 14th 2013

Welcome to the Hannah Mitchell Foundation site.

We’re updating the site at the moment, and that will be finished on Saturday 23rd of February.

In the meantime we are on twitter @hannahmfdn

And Facebook, search for “Hannah Mitchell Foundation”.

If you’d like to contact us, please drop Paul Salveson a line:

Paul Salveson
Hannah Mitchell Foundation
Bank Top
90a Radcliffe Road
Huddersfield HD7 4EZ

paul.salveson AT btinternet DOT com
07795 008691