Devolution needs to be tailored to the region

The head of the North East’s business lobbying group has shared his views after the Chancellor said that the Government will transfer major powers only to those areas which choose to have a directly-elected metro-wide mayor.

This could mean a mayor for the North East Combined Authority, which is made up of seven local authorities, including Northumberland.

James Ramsbotham, chief executive of the North East Chamber Of Commerce, said: “The North East is a critical part of the UK’s economy and if we are to be at the forefront of a Northern Powerhouse, our region must be empowered to deliver more.

“The North East has a great deal to gain from devolution and should be making a strong case to Government for a similar deal to that of Manchester, but tailored to our specific needs.

“As a region, we must agree what powers we wish to receive from devolution and what we would do with them.

“Whatever the administrative arrangements are, we need a plan that is costed, with a full business case, and demonstrates a contribution to both regional growth and UK plc.

“Devolution must take a sensible approach, recognising that the North East is in a global marketplace.”