Formal proposals for a devolution deal designed to drive economic growth and bring jobs and investment to the North East have today (Sept 4) been submitted to Government.
The North East Combined Authority has set out its proposals for devolution in a document submitted to the Treasury for consideration as part of the autumn spending review.
Key points included in the proposals are ambitious plans for:
• The North East to be recognised as the UK’s regional export lead by attracting targeted investors and by building on the area’s existing strengths and assets.
• Investment in the area’s workforce – enabling people to develop their skills in line with the needs of local business, improving their employment opportunities and raising aspirations and expectations.
• A long-term programme of investment to generate market confidence and stability and maximise investment opportunities.
• Fiscal devolution to ensure a level playing field in terms of costs faced by business in the North East and to allow for the local retention and reinvestment of the proceeds of additional growth in the area.
• The creation of an integrated and upgraded local transport system across the North East with devolved responsibility for all aspects of capital and revenue funding, underpinned by long-term investment in infrastructure improvements.
• The reform of public services, to address growing spending and demand pressures, by empowering communities and reducing dependency.
• Devolution to councils and communities to ensure the diverse nature of the North East and its distinct places and people are taken into account in decision making.
Cllr Simon Henig, chair of the North East Combined Authority, said: “We are working to secure the means by which we can build a stronger economy, generate more and better jobs and improve transport links and skills training throughout the North East.
“We want to ensure that everyone living and working in our area can take advantage of the new opportunities that will exist and can share in the area’s increased prosperity.
“Today, with the submission of our formal expression of interest for our proposals to be considered as part of the spending review in November, we have taken a step further towards achieving our ambitions.
“There is still a great deal more work to be done and we are continuing discussions in order to further develop our proposals.
“As we move forward, we will speak to the business sector, trade unions, the voluntary and community sector, residents and other interested parties so that their views can be taken into account.”