Regional Government strengthened in the North East
The Government has agreed a change to regional governance in the North East with the creation of a new Mayoral-led North of the Tyne Combined Authority, under which Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle local authorities have joined forces.
The stand-alone organisation will operate separately to the North East Combined Authority, which will continue with the four local authorities south of the Tyne: Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland.
As before, transport matters for the North East region will be overseen by all seven local authorities.
There will be no changes to the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) which will continue to advocate for the region as a whole and provide strong, collaborative leadership to grow the North East economy through an effective partnership with the public, private, education and third sectors.
The North East LEP, together with its partners, remains committed to creating 100,000 more and better jobs for the region by 2024 and the North East Strategic Economic Plan.
To read the press release on this news from the Government, click here.
Statements from the North of Tyne Combined Authority and the North East Combined Authority are detailed below:
Press release from North of Tyne Combined Authority
North of Tyne leaders welcome a historic moment as £600m devolution deal gets final approval by Parliament
Economic growth, job creation, support for people and their families, rural communities, and inward investment will all be on the agenda when the new North of Tyne Combined Authority meets for the first time on Thursday 8 November.
The authority – the body that will drive economic growth and job creation in the area – has been formally approved and brought into law by Parliament.
The signing of the Parliamentary Order by Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry last night (1 November) formally concludes the ambitious £600m North of Tyne devolution deal – an unprecedented transfer of power and investment from Westminster to the North East.
The inaugural meeting of the cabinet for the new combined authority will take place at Morpeth Town Hall on 8 November.
At that meeting, the new authority will agree its policy and investment priorities – wasting no time in getting on with implementing the areas in the devolution deal to benefit people, communities and businesses across the North of Tyne area.
It will also agree the process for the appointment of the interim Mayor who will head up the authority until the first Mayoral elections take place in May 2019.
Welcoming a new era in local decision-making, the new North of Tyne cabinet will focus on getting on with things and making sure that people and businesses will quickly start to see a real difference and the benefits of devolution.
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Today marks a significant day in the north’s devolution journey. We’ve begun the work of uniting behind a single voice and taking control of our future.
“We still have much more to do in bringing further powers and decision making back to people here, but this devolution deal marks a big step forward in our plans to create more and better jobs across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Now we need to get on with the task at hand, investing in our region and showing the nation and beyond why this is such a great place to live, work and visit.
North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “This is a historic day for the region. The North of Tyne area already boasts one of the fastest growing economies and job rates anywhere in the UK and this will offer us greater opportunities to grow and develop. We have shown that we are big enough and bold enough to carve our own destiny and devolution puts us in a very strong position to build on our strengths and achieve great things for all of our businesses and residents long into the future.”
Councillor Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “So much work has gone into securing the best deal for the North of Tyne and I’m delighted we can now move forward with the real business of driving the region’s economic growth.
“We’re working on a number of exciting and transformative schemes which will benefit millions of people in the region now, as well as future generations, and we are all excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “The North East LEP welcomes the new powers, funding and opportunities that devolution brings to the North East. We look forward to working with colleagues in the new North of Tyne authority as we collectively continue making the North East a more prosperous place for our businesses and residents. Here at the North East LEP we will continue to advocate for the region as a whole and provide strong, collaborative leadership to grow the North East economy through an effective partnership with the public, private, education and third sectors.”
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, said: “Today is a great day for the North of Tyne area. Thanks to the hard work of local leaders, we have delivered a historic devolution deal in the Northern Powerhouse and over half a billion pounds of investment into North Tyneside, Northumberland and Newcastle-upon-Tyne to improve services, create new jobs and drive growth. We’re transferring funding and decision making away from Westminster and placing them directly into the hands of local people, allowing them to shape their own public services and forge their own destiny.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
A summary of the exciting new powers and funding that will be available to the North of Tyne through this deal:
- A new, directly elected Mayor for North of Tyne to give a strong and powerful voice to our area.
- £600 million of extra money to invest in the North of Tyne.
- Projects to improve education, skills and help people get into work.
- Local control of the £23 million per year budget for adult education.
- Powers to develop land for economic growth and regeneration.
- Projects that increase the growth and productivity of our rural communities.
- Working better with Government to boost trade and investment.
- Projects to grow our digital sector and low-carbon economy.
- A joint committee to manage public transport across the North East.
- A commitment to explore new opportunities for the North of Tyne in future.
About North of Tyne:
North of Tyne describes the area covered by Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland local authorities.
It begins at the most southerly boundary of Northumberland and continues north to the border with Scotland, and spans from the North Sea on the east coast to the border with Cumbria in the west.
The area has a population of 880,000, a local economy of £17 billion, over 360,000 jobs and it is home to 23,000 businesses.
The North of Tyne is filled with stunning natural landscapes, great people, and has a strong track record of creating jobs and supporting world-leading businesses. It also has lots of potential, including:
- one of the fastest-growing local economies and job growth rates in the country
- one of the fastest-growing technology sectors outside of London
- the highest-skilled workforce in the North
- excellent transport links nationally and internationally
- innovation, research and development hubs in two universities and world-leading businesses
- a huge range of natural, historic and cultural assets.
Statement from the North East Combined Authority:
A statement issued on behalf of the leaders of Durham County, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland City Councils; Councillors Simon Henig, Martin Gannon, Iain Malcolm and Graeme Miller, said: “The North East has an abundance of assets and vast economic potential and the four North East Combined Authority councils – Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland – have an absolute and steadfast commitment to unlocking more and more of this potential.
“Though the North of Tyne Devolution Deal has seen our counterpart authorities in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland form their own new mayoral combined authority, we know that the strength of partnership that remains across all parts of our region will allow us to continue to drive forward priorities around economic development and regeneration, delivering huge benefits for everyone across the North East.
“Leaders from the NECA authorities will meet soon to consider the results of an economic assessment that will help us understand more of the scale and potential of our area – a place that is already making a significant contribution to not only the wider North East, but UK Plc as a whole.
“There remains an unwavering commitment from NECA to work in partnership with our colleagues in the north of the region, as well as in Tees Valley – there are great synergies between all three areas. We will work shoulder to shoulder with colleagues across the North East to make sure that our part of the region delivers on its undoubted promise and potential.”