People across the North East are being asked for their views following the announcement of a £4.2 billion devolution deal.
A public consultation is now under way to give residents across the region a chance to understand how the proposed devolution deal from government could be implemented and have their say.
The consultation considers the proposed scheme – the document that sets out how devolution would be implemented – and will run until 23 March 2023.
As well as multi-billion pound investment into the region, the deal would see significant powers transferred to the North East from central government.
Residents, businesses and other stakeholders can give their feedback online or by attending a number of face-to-face and virtual events taking place across the North East.
Following extensive negotiations, the Government announced in December a devolution deal for the local authority areas of County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.
The cabinets of the seven local authorities have now agreed the terms and process for the devolution deal and have approved the next stage of the plans, which include a public consultation.
A mayoral election is expected to take place in May 2024 and a new combined authority would be created, while the existing North of Tyne Combined Authority and North East Combined Authority would cease to operate.
The deal offers a potential £4.2bn of investment into the region, made up of elements including:
- An investment fund of £1.4bn, or £48m a year, to support inclusive economic growth and support our regeneration priorities
- An indicative budget of around £1.8bn, or £60m a year, for adult education and skills – to meet local skills priorities and improve opportunities for residents
- A £900m package of investment to transform our transport system, with £563m from the City Regional Sustainable Transport Fund, on top of funding already announced for our buses and metro system
- £69m of investment in housing and regeneration, unlocking sites to bring forward new housing and commercial development
It is expected to create 24,000 extra jobs, deliver 70,000 courses per year to give people the skills to get good jobs, and leverage £5.0 billion of private sector investment.
Once established, the new authority, covering an area which is home to around 2 million people, will have the power to make decisions on areas such as transport, skills, housing, finance and economic development. The deal does not involve any changes to existing councils.
At the end of the consultation period a report will be brought back to each Cabinet and a summary of the consultation responses and any proposed submissions on behalf of the Councils will be sent to the Secretary of State to consider before laying an order in parliament.