Economic growth, job creation, support for people and their families, rural growth and inward investment will all be on the agenda when the new North of Tyne Combined Authority meets for the first time on Thursday 8 November.
The authority – the body that will drive economic growth and job creation in the area – has been formally approved and brought into law by Parliament.
The signing of the Parliamentary Order by Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry last night (1 November) formally concludes the ambitious £600m North of Tyne devolution deal – an unprecedented transfer of power and investment from Westminster to the North East.
The inaugural meeting of the cabinet for the new combined authority will take place at Morpeth Town Hall on 8 November.
At that meeting, the new authority will agree its policy and investment priorities – wasting no time in getting on with implementing the areas in the devolution deal to benefit people, communities and businesses across the North of Tyne area.
It will also agree the process for the appointment of the interim Mayor who will head up the authority until the first Mayoral elections take place in May 2019.
Welcoming a new era in local decision-making, the new North of Tyne cabinet will focus on getting on with things and making sure that people and businesses will quickly start to see a real difference and the benefits of devolution.
Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Today marks a significant day in the north’s devolution journey. We’ve begun the work of uniting behind a single voice and taking control of our future.
“We still have much more to do in bringing further powers and decision making back to people here, but this devolution deal marks a big step forward in our plans to create more and better jobs across Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. Now we need to get on with the task at hand, investing in our region and showing the nation and beyond why this is such a great place to live, work and visit.
North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “This is a historic day for the region. The North of Tyne area already boasts one of the fastest growing economies and job rates anywhere in the UK and this will offer us greater opportunities to grow and develop. We have shown that we are big enough and bold enough to carve our own destiny and devolution puts us in a very strong position to build on our strengths and achieve great things for all of our businesses and residents long into the future.”
Councillor Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council, said: “So much work has gone into securing the best deal for the North of Tyne and I’m delighted we can now move forward with the real business of driving the region’s economic growth.
“We’re working on a number of exciting and transformative schemes which will benefit millions of people in the region now, as well as future generations, and we are all excited by the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Andrew Hodgson, Chair of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “The North East LEP welcomes the new powers, funding and opportunities that devolution brings to the North East. We look forward to working with colleagues in the new North of Tyne authority as we collectively continue making the North East a more prosperous place for our businesses and residents. Here at the North East LEP we will continue to advocate for the region as a whole and provide strong, collaborative leadership to grow the North East economy through an effective partnership with the public, private, education and third sectors.”