North East agrees devolution deal

Members of the North East Combined Authority Leadership Board have confirmed their support for the proposed devolution agreement for the area.

The move takes the area one step closer to completing the devaluation deal, providing greater local control over transport, the economy and skills.

The decision means that voters will be asked to elect the first North East Mayor in May 2017, with the initial term running for three years, with subsequent terms running for four years.

Simon Henig, chair of the North East Combined Authority, said: “We feel that we are now in a position to move to the next stage of the devolution process, which will be the creation of a mayoral combined authority for the North East.

“Through this process we have built some very positive relationships, particularly with the business sector, and I believe there has been a real meeting of minds in terms of the priorities for our region, in terms of investment and particularly around transport.

“There is still work to do in terms of continuing dialogue with Government but this decision will enable important decisions affecting our region to be made locally instead of in London.”