Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I Know We Wanted to Be Left Out.But Don't Leave Us Out' Plea by South of Tyne Authorities over Devolution Plans

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

'I Know We Wanted to Be Left Out.But Don't Leave Us Out' Plea by South of Tyne Authorities over Devolution Plans

Article excerpt

Byline: Laura Hill Reporter Laura.Hill@trinitymirror.com @laurahillnews

NORTH East councils have raised concerns they could miss out as the three authorities north of the river Tyne look set to push ahead with devolution plans.

Sunderland City Council, South Tyneside Council and Durham County Council have all written to the three North Tyne authorities asking for assurances that joint working across the seven North East councils will continue.

Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Council and Northumberland County Council announced in November last year that they wanted a devolution deal - including a Mayor - for the three areas.

A North East devolution deal which included all seven of the region's authorities was shelved in 2016.

A letter from Sunderland City Council leader Coun Harry Trueman and council chief executive Irene Lucas reads: "It is disappointing that this could not be achieved by a suitable devolution deal being reached for the whole NECA area and without the need for the redrawing of the boundaries, creating two combined authorities in place of one currently. However our shared ambition is to promote the economic prosperity of the North East."

All seven North East councils would have to support the North Tyne devolution deal for it to go ahead but four have previously rejected devolution.

Gateshead Council was the first authority to vote against the proposed North East devolution deal in 2016, and have yet to submit their views to the North of Tyne public consultation.

A spokesperson for the authority explained there was no meaning behind the council's lack of response, and that it plans to respond at the next stage.

Durham County Council raises concerns about transport funding in its consultation response, while South Tyneside Council warns that "any proposals to establish a North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA) must be on the explicit basis that it does not lead to any detriment to the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of the residents of South Tyneside."

Most people, organisations and businesses consulted on the North Tyne devolution deal agreed with the plans. …

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