South Tyneside Council leader welcomes 'important milestone' in £4billion North-East devolution deal after Michael Gove announcement
Levelling Up secretary Michael Gove has today confirmed that new powers over skills, transport and housing are due to be transferred to the North East from Whitehall.
If approved following public consultation, a Mayor of the North East could even be elected to champion the region in negotiations with industry and the Government.
The deal affects two million people in an area stretching from Northumberland to County Durham.
It is expected to create 24,000 jobs, deliver 70,000 skills courses annually and attract a further £5billion of private investment.
Individual local authorities such as South Tyneside Borough Council would still be responsible for most local services.
As part of a statement signed jointly by eight local council leaders and mayors, Councillor Tracey Dixon, the leader of South Tyneside Council, said in response to Mr Gove’s announcement: “This is a significant step towards securing important decision-making powers and investment for our region.
"This would allow us to make decisions that reflect local needs and invest wisely into projects that will make a difference for all our residents, communities and local economy.
“There remains a process for all councils and combined authorities to consider the details and a public consultation before a final decision is made.
“We are pleased that we have successfully negotiated a proposed deal which is a step towards reaching our ambition for this region. This is an important milestone in our journey and we will now engage with stakeholders to move the deal to the next stage.”
Mr Gove said: “I’m proud to have agreed a historic new devolution deal with the North East that gives local leaders more power, more money, and an even greater say on how their areas are run.
“Devolution is all about letting leaders who live and breathe the region decide what is in their best interests, for their people and for their businesses.
“A new mayor will ensure local priorities in the North East are at the heart of decision-making, while our billion-pound funding boost will provide the financial certainty needed to level up the area right now and for years to come.”
More details about the deal and public consultation are expected in early 2023.