North of Tyne Combined Authority appoints new interim mayor

The elected mayor of North Tyneside, Norma Redfearn, has been announced as the interim mayor for the newly-created North of Tyne Combined Authority.

Redfearn has been appointed by the cabinet to lead the combined authority up until May 2019, when North of Tyne will elect its first ever mayor.

The appointment of an interim mayor is legally required by central government when establishing a combined authority, and Redfearn will combine her new role with her current responsibilities for North Tyneside Council.

Following an election in May next year, the new mayor will lead the three North of Tyne councils (Newcastle, North Tyneside, and Northumberland) and hold responsibilities and powers over economic growth, housing policy, and enhancing places and communities across the region.

Candidates who intend to run to be the elected mayor have until April 2019 to declare, and four men have currently nominated themselves to stand as Labour’s candidate for the position.

Up until then, Redfearn will chair the cabinet and oversee the early delivery of the authority’s £600m economic vision, which was set out earlier this month.

The appointment was made following a recommendation from the appointments panel, and the leaders of the other two authorities have welcomed the appointment.

The new interim mayor commented: “This is an exciting time for anyone living and working in the North of Tyne area.

“As a long-time advocate for devolution in this part of the country, I feel we now have the tools we need to shape our own destiny, capitalise on our economic strengths, and build an economy that delivers for everyone and leaves no community behind.”

Redfearn added: “I am proud to be asked to oversee the authority during this interim period, as we work to lay the foundations for a bright new future.”

Redfearn was elected mayor of North Tyneside in 2013, and was then re-elected in 2017 following a 30-year career in teaching.

Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “Norma is a perfect person to lead the combined authority into this new era. She is a tireless champion of our communities and always has the region's best interest at heart.

“Our task now is to get on with creating more and better jobs in our part of the north, and I know Norma as interim mayor will be a great asset to us in this mission.”

At EvoNorth next year, devolution will be the centre of discussion between industry leaders and representatives, all focused on driving forward the Northern Powerhouse. Click here to find out more.


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