IN an election period dominated by Brexit, today we aim to give a timely reminder to those who want our votes that there are a multitude of other issues at play.

Yes, solving Brexit must be an overwhelming priority to relieve the country of the paralysis of the last three and half years, but for the North, finding a way to rebalance the economy has to come an incredibly close second.

As with Brexit, the answer is not simple, and will rely on collaboration and some wide-ranging policy shifts at national level.

Although we back the Manifesto for the North, it is crucial to point out that the needs of the North are not as one – this is a diverse region, and opportunities for growth in, for example, Durham, will be vastly different to those in Leeds or Manchester. Even within the North-East, the challenges facing an urban area like Middlesbrough bear little relation to the problems ten minutes down the road in North Yorkshire.

Added to that is the already-fractured devolution set-up, with directly elected mayors in place in some areas, while others are either going it alone, or working towards deals in their own cities or sub-regions.

That said, just because something is not straight forward, it doesn’t mean it can’t be achieved when there is a determination to work towards a common goal.

It is that type of commitment that we need to see from our would-be leaders – not just in the run up to December 12, but in the decades beyond.