Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

More Power Demanded for Assembly

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

More Power Demanded for Assembly

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ross Smith

Trade union bosses will today put more pressure on Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to hand more powers to a North-East assembly.

Mr Prescott is due to address a special conference called by the Northern TUC ahead of this autumn's referendum on regional devolution.

The event is an exercise in rallying the troops, as trade union members are expected to play a large role in campaigning for a `yes' vote in November.

But they will also use the opportunity to press for an assembly to be given stronger powers in the fields of skills, transport and culture than have been included in the Government's draft bill.

TUC Northern regional secretary Kevin Rowan said: "Deciding the powers and responsibilities is still very much a live debate.

"While we think there's a good deal on the table, we want to push for further devolution and decentralisation of public policy.

"Certainly we think there's still further progress to be made on the skills agenda, transport and culture. …

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