Kim McGuinness has set out her plan for the North East as she promises to build “the infrastructure of opportunity” to make the region even better in her bid to become North East Mayor.

The Labour candidate's campaign launched with a manifesto promising more jobs, better transport and a new era for the creative economy.

The current Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner was joined at her campaign launch event in Bishop Auckland by Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner, who said the party was committed to handing the North East a bigger say over its future.

The Northern Echo: Kim McGuinnessKim McGuinness (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

Labour mayoral candidate Kim McGuinness said she wanted to be the North East mayor who “builds on our regional pride” with a plan to create jobs across the region and finally tackle child poverty.

She said: “I’m standing to create good local jobs, fix our broken transport system and finally end the days of London taking all our decisions for us.”

“It’s time we had a mayor who will champion this region and ensure we become known as the home of real opportunity.”

Her manifesto pledges include:

  • Publicly controlled buses in the first term.
  • An expanded Metro system with more ticket barriers to make it safer.
  • A Mayoral Development Corporation to create thousands of jobs at the region’s rivers and ports.
  • Training for over 1,000 young people through a Green Energy and Engineering Super Academy so working-class people can take up the jobs of the future.
  • A Regional Childcare Plan including Mayor’s Childcare Grant to remove the barriers to work or training felt mainly by women.
  • Put the cultural and creative economy at the centre of our plans, backing northern writers, North East music festivals and the region's screen industry.
  • A High Streets Commission to create and save local jobs and focal points in villages and towns across the region.

Backing the plans, Angela Rayner said: "After years of Tory failure, Kim McGuinness has a plan to rebuild the North East. I know first-hand how deeply proud she is of the North East, she's exactly the champion the people here need and she is determined to make sure everyone here has a chance to succeed.

"The next Labour Government is going to work with mayors like Kim McGuinness to ensure local communities have the powers they need to deliver better buses, build more affordable and social housing, and create more local jobs.

The Northern Echo: Kim McGuinness at the top of Auckland TowerKim McGuinness at the top of Auckland Tower (Image: SARAH CALDECOTT)

"Kim will be a great Labour mayor and one who stands up for the North East. She knows exactly what this region needs and how to make sure there is opportunity for all."

Kim McGuinness added: “If you listen to our national media you would think the North begins and ends in Manchester. I’m going to be the mayor who puts the North East in the spotlight because I am deeply proud of our region.”

“I’m standing with a plan to make our North East the home of real opportunity,

where devolution means investing in people at every level .”

“So whether it’s on the high street or at an offshore manufacturing site, everyone has access to a good job.

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“If we get that right, if we transform how we think about job creation, then we can finally end child poverty in our North East.

“And that’s what you’ll get from me – a North East first approach.”

“I’m not here to obsess about Westminster politics or go on about party ideology.

I want to change the North East so everyone here has the chance to succeed.”