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What does the devolution plan mean for the North East?

Posted by
07 Jun 2016
The North East Combined Authority has signed a proposed devolution agreement with Government designed to drive economic growth and bring jobs and investment to the North East. The intentions of the agreement for the North East is to generate an increasing amount of skilled jobs, ensure a stronger economy and improve transport links and skills training throughout the region.

In recent developments, the leaders of the seven North East Authorities met to make a decision on whether or not the multi-billion pound deal was to go ahead or not. Six of the seven councils that make up the North East Combined
Authority voted in favour of the plan. Only Gateshead Council voted against the move as there are fears it could lose out on millions in investment. Gateshead claim that they support the cause, however the offer is not strong enough.

Should the decision be made to submit a formal proposal to Government, a legal order will be created that would establish the NECA as a Mayoral Combined Authority, which then if approved by parliament would allow for the election of a Mayor in the North East to take place in May 2017.

So what would a devolution agreement mean for the residents of the North East? With a focus on supporting the North East to compete in international markets, the deal would allow the Combined Authority to create an Investment Fund worth up to £1.5 Billion. This in turn will allow for the creation of thousands of jobs within transport, housing and planning, and business support and investment from central government, as well as the reform of public services.

There are several arguments in favor of the agreement, the most compelling being that it will give the people in the region a local identity, and a sense of control over local decision-making. This deal represents a first step in a progressive process of devolution of funding, powers and responsibilities to the North East. As well as the areas set out in this deal, this could make for further opportunities for devolution in the future.

To discuss the devolution developments within the North East in further detail, contact me on 011 261 8585. For the latest industry developments delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our quarterly newsletter. Receive Newsletter

Tagged In: Current Affairs, Finance
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