National and Devolved Politics

27.11.17

New £600m North of Tyne devo deal could see underpowered mayor

The mayor of the new North of Tyne devolution deal will have reduced powers compared to equivalent metro mayors in other parts of the country.

Following the initial Budget announcement last week, it has been revealed that the new mayor will not have a veto on combined authority decisions and there is no mention of the combined authority being given devolution control over transport powers or funding.

Visiting the area this weekend, Treasury minister Andrew Jones and Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry set out the details of the new deal, which will involve full control over the adult education budget as well as an inclusive Growth Board to coordinate skills and employment.

The new plans will replace the original north east devolution deal, which was called off by communities secretary Sajid Javid after four of the North East Combined Authority member councils – Sunderland, Durham, South Tyneside and Gateshead – voted against it.

The initial £900m scheme was rejected because the councils concerned voiced worries about post-Brexit reassurances from the government.

Projections for the North of Tyne proposals look positive at the moment, with the DCLG expecting a £1.1bn boost to the economy, along with 10,000 new jobs and £2.1bn in private investment.

Jones said the deal was part of the government’s efforts to give back to northern cities.

“This government is delivering for the north east,” he commented. “We have been clear in our commitment to ensure that opportunity is shared across the country as we create an economy fit for the future.

“Today represents a big step in achieving this – giving the people of the North of the Tyne a bigger voice and greater power over their future.

“This historic deal, including £600m of government investment is yet another example of how we are backing the north. It will bolster the local economy in the North of Tyne and generate thousands of new jobs.”

Cllr Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, welcomed the new plans, saying the deal would help to put the city “at the heart of Britain.”

He explained: “The devolution deal we have negotiated is our region’s next step towards creating a north east economy with above-average wages and below-average unemployment.

“We now have a real opportunity for our region to come together and turn our ambition for more and better jobs into reality.”

Developing jobs, technology and industry

Plans for the deal also include commitments to review investment cases in science and industry for the area, with offshore industry, energy, and 5G digital connectivity on the list of likely candidates.

Berry, who is responsible for the Northern Powerhouse plans, argued the reportedly groundbreaking deal “truly passes power to the people,” adding: “With a strong voice in a new mayor, a new Wear crossing and the globally-significant Great Exhibition of the North, this is a new golden era creating jobs, growth and prosperity for the resurgent north east.”

The elected mayor of North Tyneside Council, Norma Redfearn, added her voice to the positive responses.

“This is a very exciting deal that will help us to develop our economy and give us access to a wide range of new opportunities,” she said. “I am extremely proud of North Tyneside and am confident this deal will allow us to build on the strengths of our people and businesses.”

The mayor also pointed to the skills benefits the deal would bring, explaining that people would be given the opportunity to retrain, gain new skills and fill local jobs.

In addition, Cllr Peter Jackson, leader of Northumberland CC, said: “There are some significant issues for us to tackle over the next few years and this deal will give us the tools with which to make a real positive difference to the whole of Northumberland.

“In particular, we have been asking government to help us significantly improve the educational attainment in our schools and I am delighted that we have been given the opportunity to introduce an Education Improvement Challenge for the area.

“This will be the first outside London. We’ve also been asking central government to devolve powers to our region so we will become a rural growth pilot for England to develop ways in which we can improve prosperity, job opportunities and housing delivery in all of our communities.”

Top image: Glenn Bowman

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

China ban adds £500,000 in recycling contamination costs to councils

22/10/2018China ban adds £500,000 in recycling contamination costs to councils

Tighter recycling contamination restrictions in the wake of China’s imported waste ban have directly hit at least a fifth of councils, the ... more >
New disqualification rules for people guilty of serious crimes serving in councils

22/10/2018New disqualification rules for people guilty of serious crimes serving in councils

Rules preventing people found guilty of serious crimes from serving on local councils will be strengthened after a public consultation, the gover... more >
Council warns of 28% rise in council tax or mass job cuts needed to deliver services

22/10/2018Council warns of 28% rise in council tax or mass job cuts needed to deliver services

Pembrokeshire is facing the prospect of a 28% rise in council tax or extensive job cuts to meet services after several warnings about the county ... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

11/10/2018500 jobs could go as city council eyes 5% tax hike to tackle £28m deficit

Up to 500 jobs are at risk at Wolverhampton and residents face a council tax rise of 4.99% in what has been described as “the most significant financial challenge the council has ever faced... more >
Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

05/10/2018Government removes intervention in Tower Hamlets LBC

James Brokenshire has formally ended the government’s intervention in Tower Hamlets London Borough Council following “significant improvements” in a recent review. The Mini... more >

the raven's daily blog

The council of the future

22/10/2018The council of the future

Georgina Maratheftis, programme manager for local government at techUK, paints a picture of what the council of the future could look like – and just how we might get there. It’s a universally acknowledged truth that local government continues to face financial constraints whilst still having to deliver lots of services and me... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

comment

Making good health a reality in Wigan

22/10/2018Making good health a reality in Wigan

Wigan Borough Council is leading the way with its innovative approach to integrated health and care. We hear from the Healthier Wigan Partnership... more >
Knowledge Quarter: the pieces of the jigsaw

22/10/2018Knowledge Quarter: the pieces of the jigsaw

Liverpool already boasts the best in class when it comes to innovation – but no city can rest on its laurels. Joe Anderson, the city’... more >
LGiU: Local government in Finland

22/10/2018LGiU: Local government in Finland

Finland’s local government structure is going through a set of reforms as municipalities across the small Nordic nation continue to merge. ... more >
The doors of the powerhouse are open once again

22/10/2018The doors of the powerhouse are open once again

Now in its second year, the People’s Powerhouse Conference promises to celebrate achievements and find new solutions to ensure better lives... more >

interviews

Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

15/10/2018Keeping the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse

On 6 September, the biggest decision-makers of the north joined forces to celebrate and debate how to drive innovation and improvement through th... more >
Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

06/08/2018Michael King: Time for Ombudsman reform

Michael King first joined the Local Government Ombudsman service back in 2004 as deputy ombudsman. At the start of 2017, he was appointed as the ... more >
Helping a city understand itself

06/08/2018Helping a city understand itself

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The urban landscape is changing. How can local authorities keep up with citizen behaviour? Stephen Leece, managing directo... more >
Modern policing: the future is bright

06/08/2018Modern policing: the future is bright

SPONSORED INTERVIEW The public sector, and policing in particular, has often been criticised as being slow to adapt to change. But now, says L... more >

public sector focus

View all News