The Leek Bill Williamson
In a real sense the economic and social problems of north-east England in the period since the First World War are a result of its past economic success as an economic growth area in the nineteenth century, with a prosperity founded on coal, iron and steel, shipbuilding and heavy engineering. Economically, the effects of unemployment were very serious, both for individual families, for communities, and for large areas of the region. The decay in the already poor economic infrastructure, the lack of resources to repair or replace the houses, schools, hospitals and other public buildings of the nineteenth century, left a legacy of neglect for the future. The Northern Economic Development Council and the Northern Economic Planning Council undertake promotional activities similar to those undertaken by the county council and other local authorities. The Planning Council keeps a watching brief on government regional policy and formulates regional planning strategy. Implementation, however, depends upon central and local government.