The next stage in the exciting plans for a devolution deal for the North of Tyne begin this week with the launch of a public consultation.
A once in a lifetime ‘minded to approve’ devolution deal for the North of Tyne was announced in November and offers unprecedented new powers and funding to the area, including a £600 million investment fund. This investment and new powers are expected to generate £1.1 billion for the local economy, create 10,000 new jobs and leverage £2.1 billion in private sector investment.
The Cabinets of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland councils met at the beginning of the week and agreed to start the process of implementing a devolution deal for the North of Tyne.
In order for the three councils to accept and implement the deal they must:
come out of the current North East Combined Authority (NECA), which comprises Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland
create a new mayoral combined authority for the North of Tyne area
create a joint transport committee to oversee transport arrangements across the whole of the North East
The councils will publish a scheme that sets out their proposals for changing the way the seven North East councils work together on economic development, regeneration and transport matters, and for devolving new powers to the North of Tyne. Those plans include creating a new combined authority for the North of Tyne, led by an elected mayor, to manage a range of devolved powers that will help to improve the quality and availability of housing, support infrastructure and help increase the number of residents moving into work in the area.
Views are now being sought from the public on the proposed scheme and how the new arrangements will work.
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said:
“The devolution deal is a significant step forward in taking control of our own future. Success will not be delivered by politicians in meetings, however – so it is vital local people get involved, have their say and think about how we can all contribute to creating a better tomorrow for all our communities.”
Norma Redfearn, Elected Mayor for North Tyneside, said:
“This consultation provides our residents a chance to learn more about the opportunities devolution gives them and their families, and to understand what changes it will make to the way the councils will work together.
“This is the next step in our devolution journey and an important stage in getting devolved powers and funding to the North of Tyne. I’d like to personally invite everyone in North Tyneside to have their say.”
Councillor Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said:
“I hope everyone in Northumberland takes a few moments to share their views on this fantastic opportunity. This devolution deal presents us with a once in a lifetime chance to take local decisions about our future to provide more and better opportunities for everyone. Consultation is the next key stage in this process and the more people who get involved the better.”
The consultation will open on Thursday 14 December and close on Monday 5 February 2018.
Views can be given online at www.northoftynedevolution.com or at a series of consultation events in January. Details of the consultation events will be announced in the New Year.
A ‘minded to approve’ devolution deal for the North of Tyne was announced by Government and Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland councils on 24 November. Full details are available here: https://northoftynedevolution.com/landmark-devolution-deal-north-tyne ( /news/ 2017/11/24/budget-delivers-devo-deal-and-transport-boost-for-north-of-tyne )
Following the consultation, responses will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who will then lay orders before Parliament to implement the new governance arrangements. Those arrangements are expected to be in place by summer 2018.