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Houchen: ‘Hard work starts here’ as mayor announces Tees Valley leadership team

The recently elected Tees Valley mayor has announced the leadership team who will support his tenure as head of the combined authority.

Chairing his first meeting of the combined authority, mayor Ben Houchen, who won the 4 May election by a margin of just over 2,000 votes – made more than 130 appointments to combined authority and LEP roles.

Councillor Bob Cook, leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, was confirmed as deputy mayor and vice chair of the Tees Valley Combined Authority. Under new rules, the deputy mayor position rotates annually between five local authority leaders in the area.

The other four council leaders have been appointed to look after individual cabinet portfolios that cover the authority’s key powers and responsibilities.

“I would like to thank all of the councillors, business and voluntary sector representatives who have stepped forward to support the Tees Valley’s ambitions for the future,” said mayor Houchen. 

“I look forward to working with them,” he added. “We have taken control of our area with devolved powers and budgets from Westminster, the hard work starts here.”

Previously, the chair of the authority was a position held by David Budd, and Houchen thanked him for his service and good work over the past year: “His tenure as chair covered a critical period, during the run-up to the Mayoral election, the launch of the Strategic Economic Plan, our new Constitution and an Investment Plan.

“I know he will continue to make a valuable contribution on the Combined Authority’s Cabinet.”

Deputy mayor Cllr Cook stated: “The Combined Authority builds on many years of effective partnership, and I am confident that this will continue to develop as we take forward our new devolved responsibilities. 

“I am proud to take on the role of deputy mayor for the forthcoming year, and work to ensure effective collaboration between the mayor, council leaders and our many other partners, as we deliver effectively on behalf of the people of the Tees Valley.”

Houchen’s appointments also follow other authorities, the West Midlands, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough selecting their leadership teams and Andy Burnham announcing that Sir Richard Leese would be deputy mayor of Greater Manchester.

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