SENIOR South Tyneside councillors will next week be recommended to push ahead with the creation of a new North East ‘super council’.
Seven North East councils have set out the steps they are taking to combine their roles in order to bid for more Government cash and local control.
While each of the councils – from Durham to Northumberland – will retain their own local control, behind the scenes the seven leaders have agreed to stop competing on skills, transport and economic growth.
A recent governance review committed the seven to merging their funding to help better fund key transport routes such as the A19 and the A1 Western Bypass.
And when members of South Tyneside Council’s decision-making cabinet meet for a special meeting next week, they will be asked to endorse the plan.
The need for a new combined authority was stressed to the council leaders by Lord Adonis.
In his review of the North East economy, the Labour peer said the No1 priority had to be to set up a new body to help the region compete with the likes of Greater Manchester and Leeds.
But council leaders have been told they need to move quickly if they want to benefit from the expected devolution of powers and cash hand-outs the Government has said it is committed to.
Mick Henry, chairman of the LA7 leadership board and leader of Gateshead Council, said: “The seven North East local authorities have a very successful record of working together on major issues for the benefit of the region as a whole.
“We all share the ambition to create the best possible conditions for growth.
“This region needs new jobs, investment and improvements to infrastructure.
“We hope that a single body, challenged with delivering real results for the region around transport, skills and economic growth, can be truly transformational, and we welcome Lord Adonis’s recognition of the opportunity this creates in his review.”
South Tyneside Council’s cabinet is to meet in the committee suite at South Shields Town Hall from 4pm on Monday, June 24.