Council gives its backing to devolution deal

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North Tyneside Council has given the green light to a devolution deal to transfer powers to the north east region.

At their meeting on March 17, members of the full council gave a positive endorsement to establish the North East Combined Authority (NECA) as a Mayoral Combined Authority, in order to unlock devolution powers and more than £1.5bn.

They unanimously supported a proposal in favour of Devolution Agreement with Government to give the north east powers over employment and skills, transport, housing, planning, business support and investment, and could lead to further devolution in the future.

However the council asked for further clarification from the Government in relation to a number of issues.

Mayor Norma Redfearn said: “For too long decisions about our region and our residents have been made in London by people who don’t necessarily understand the needs of our communities.

“The positive endorsement by all members of this council shows there is a real appetite in North Tyneside for important decisions about this region to be taken by a NECA with its own powers to invest more in growing our economy and creating jobs.”

“It will also mean better regulation of local transport, including setting bus fares and bus routes; and making sure that skills funding is targeted at local business needs.”

On Wednesday, March 23, the council’s cabinet is expected to confirm that North Tyneside will sign up to the deal.

All seven councils in the region have to decide their position by the end of this month.

Once approved by local councillors, the ambitious agreement will be considered by Parliament, who will seek to establish the combined authority in law.