North east devolution revisited

Devolution in the north east could be restarted as reports state that Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland councils are seeking their own deal.

Early in September, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid withdrew a potential £900 million devolution deal after Sunderland, Durham, South Tyneside and Gateshead councils voted against it.

However, Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland, who backed the original plans, are reportedly considering negotiating their own devolution deal with the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Although formal discussions are not thought to be underway, an announcement could be made in the chancellor’s upcoming Autumn Statement, which could include a transport a transport initiative between the three local authorities.

In a statement released on behalf of Cllr Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland city council, he said: “Our administration is determined to deliver to residents the many benefits that will come from key projects such as the Ashington-Blyth-Tyne passenger rail line and a commitment to achieving 100 per cent 4G and 5G phone coverage plus investment that will bring universal rural broadband. So clearly we will favour discussions that result in more funding and local decision-making for the region."

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