For many years I have been arguing in favour of establishing regional select committees allowing MPs from regions across England to hold government departments and quangos to account.

Billions of pounds get spent every year here in the North West by organisations such as the North West Development Agency, Environment Agency and other bodies, but they are not accountable to elected representatives.

Gordon Brown has now announced that each region will have a select committee appointed to it in order to monitor such activity.

The establishment of the regional committees is the first step towards improving accountability across the UK and ensuring that each region has strong voice within government.