Invitation to influence bid in region for devolution

The leaders of the seven North East councils which form the NECA.
The leaders of the seven North East councils which form the NECA.

Business leaders, residents and other bodies in the North East are invited to influence ambitious proposals for significant devolved powers.

The ambitious proposals would see the area’s combined authority lobby the Government for the ability to boost economic growth in the region.

A letter inviting feedback on the North East Combined Authority’s (NECA) devolution prospectus is being issued across key partners and the business community.

In addition, a number of meetings are also being arranged over the coming weeks to discuss and develop the key issues in more detail with residents, the business community and other stakeholders across the NECA area.

It follows a recent leadership board meeting at which NECA unanimously agreed wide-ranging outline proposals for devolution of power, funding and responsibilities to the North East.

The devolution bid resulted from an invitation from Chancellor George Osborne and Greg Clark, Minister for Universities, Science and Cities, to begin discussions over how economic prosperity and future decisions around skills, investment and transport can be influenced and strengthened via the devolution of powers to the region.

A high level of consensus has already been achieved on these outline proposals and NECA will work closely with the North East LEP and other organisations to ensure that the proposals support delivery of More and Better Jobs, the North East’s Strategic Economic Plan.

Coun Simon Henig, chairman of NECA, said: “We have been clear from the outset that we are committed to strengthening our economy by working with, and listening to, all stakeholders on key issues.

“Our proposals for regional powers over budgets and decision-making offer us all an important opportunity to collectively develop proposals which best suit our area, our businesses and our people.

“I am looking forward to receiving feedback on our outline proposals which have the potential to enable us to boost our region’s economic prosperity and ensure decisions about the North East’s economic future relating to skills, investment and transport are taken in the region.”

Feedback on the initial devolution prospectus will form the basis of early discussions with Government. See wwwtinyurl.com/lp9y8g6 for details.