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Ep 49. Changing Aspirations with Devolution, Cllr Amanda Hopgood

On the latest episode of the Public Sector Executive Podcast, Councillor Amanda Hopgood joins host Dan Benn to discuss the devolution deal that has been secured for the North East of England.

As the Leader of Durham County Council, Amanda is brilliantly placed to talk about all of the main facets of such an important deal, especially with £4.2 billion of investment coming into the region. Speaking on this investment, Amanda said:

“[It’s] absolutely immense for a region like ours that sadly, on many of the indexes and scales, is top of all the wrong ones. Where we can make huge inroads is around adult education, housing, jobs, and health, all of which will hopefully change aspirations and the future of our residents in a positive way.

“That, for me, is the most important thing that we’re doing here. Bringing that power and money to local decision-makers who know what the residents in the North East need. We know what skills we need, as opposed to someone in Whitehall or Westminster telling us.”

Speaking about some of the potential challenges of the devolution deal, Amanda went on to say:

“Most people are sceptical of another tier of possible bureaucracy in local government, so the biggest challenge we have is to make sure that, when the mayor - whoever they may be - is elected next year, we hit the ground running and have some things that can be delivered quickly so people see the benefit.”

To find out more about the exciting possibilities of this devolution deal, as well as some of the real challenges that councils in the North East face, listen to the latest Public Sector Executive Podcast.


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