North Tyneside Council agrees devolution deal

Press release: An abstract view of the Council crest

North Tyneside Council has tonight (Wednesday 23 March) confirmed it is prepared to sign up to the historic North East devolution agreement to establish the North East Combined Authority (NECA), subject to certain clarifications and commitment from Government.

The Elected Mayor and members of the Cabinet agreed to work with Government to establish a Mayoral Combined Authority. This will transfer significant powers to the north east over employment and skills, transport, housing, planning, business support and investment.  It will also increase investment in excess of £1.5billion and could lead to further devolution in the future.

At a meeting of the Authority’s full council last week (17 March) all political parties unanimously supported the proposal but asked for further clarification and commitment from the Government in relation to the 5 Year Gateway Reviews for the Investment Fund, Transport Levies, Local Growth Fund, Housing, Transport Majors and Airport Transport Passenger Duties.

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

“Here in North Tyneside we want important decisions about this region to be taken here in the north east, not in London.  We want the power to invest in our own economy and create jobs.  We also want to have better regulation of our local transport, including setting bus fares and bus routes; and making sure that skills funding is targeted at local business needs.

“We need to be confident in our ability to speak up for the North East and drive innovation and investment to ensure we deliver a real ‘North East Power House’. Our electors will not forgive us if we deny them this opportunity; therefore we are supporting the agreement subject to appropriate clarification and commitment from Government on the outstanding issues we have raised.”