The people of Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle will elect the first North of Tyne Mayor today.
The candidates are: Dr John Appleby (Lib Dem), Jamie Driscoll (Labour), Charlie Hoult (Conservative), Hugh Jackson (UKIP) and John McCabe (Independent).
The winner will chair the cabinet of the North of Tyne Combined Authority and will have a number of specific powers and financial resources.
This includes a £600million investment fund over 30 years – £20million a year – to support job creation across the area.
The mayor will also ensure the area’s voice is clearly heard by the Government and champion the North of Tyne nationally and internationally.
He will be able to make decisions independently, although some will require consultation with and the approval of the other members of the cabinet, which includes the leaders and deputy leaders of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland councils.
Decisions by the mayor will be subject to scrutiny by the combined authority’s overview and scrutiny committee, also made up of members of each of the three North of Tyne councils.
He will initially have a five-year term, which will be reduced to four years from 2024 onwards so the elections take place at the same time as for mayors of other cities/regions.
On polling day, voters can choose a first-choice and a second-choice candidate.