I’M delighted our local MP, Simon Clarke, has been given the job of Northern Powerhouse minister.

His appointment should give the Tees Valley the maximum opportunity for investment as Boris Johnson’s ‘levelling up’ policy unfolds.

Unfortunately for Simon, however, around 2017, the Northern Powerhouse blew a gasket and has been running on ‘low speed’ ever since.

It urgently needs a complete overhaul to get it moving ‘full steam ahead’ again.

For Simon, a native Teessider, his new appointment is a bit of a poisoned chalice. Other ministers, with less focused portfolios, can fail to deliver but still get re-elected.

But, the nature of Simon’s job means he MUST succeed and LOCALLY. For me, success is, at the very least, a flourishing Free Port and the revival of manufacturing capacity along the banks of the Tees.

Steve Kay, Redcar and Cleveland councillor.