This week saw right-of-centre think tank Onward coined the phrase "Workington man" to describe the demographic of constituencies the Conservatives should target to win December’s General Election.

In an exclusive opinion piece, Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, says the issues at hand go far beyond the stereotypes.

We now know a General Election is on its way. 

In recent years, the North of England has found its voice. 

Five years ago, George Osborne, supported by leading Labour council leaders, committed to build a Northern Powerhouse to rebalance the British economy and close the North-South divide for good. 

The prize of achieving this is massive – adding an extra trillion pounds for the economy of the country in the coming decades and making the North as prosperous as the South.
For Workington and West Cumbria that would mean changed lives, in particular for the next generation, giving them the same opportunities as other young people across the country. 
Workington needs and deserves a growth deal to help the UK cut its dependence on fossil fuel, taking advantage of our nuclear knowledge and local manufacturing businesses to export knowledge and expertise. 

You deserve better transport links, including better train services to Carlisle to be able to catch HS2 services going down to Birmingham and London to truly ensure we are connecting Britain. 

You deserve all our schools to be as good as the best in the county and nationally. In our new Fairer League Tables for secondary schools this week, St Joseph’s has shown that it is over 700 places higher in England than in traditional league tables.
This week, figures in Westminster have coined the phrase “Workington Man” - summing up stereotype of older voters in the North they think will decide the fate of the party leaders and decide who will be our next Prime Minister. 

The focus on Workington is welcome – but they need to understand the potential of the place, not just what may have held it back in recent years as a former mining community. 

What men, and indeed women, really want for the area’s future, working together with neighbouring communities, is to grow the economy and make sure the benefits are shared across West Cumbria.
It isn’t the job of Westminster types to tell us what we need. 

The future here needs to be decided here. The North is organised, and it knows what it can and must do to progress and do better. 
More prosperity will mean a better future for those growing up here, and it is in our grasp. 

This is your chance to make it actually happen.