North East leaders have confirmed that they will move forward in the devolution process subject to confirmation that the terms of the region’s deal will be supported by the new Government in full.

Members of the North East Combined Authority Leadership Board have called on the newly-formed Government to pledge a firm commitment to the terms of the region’s devolution deal.

At a meeting today (July 19) members noted the heightened importance of devolved funding and powers to the North East following the outcome of the EU referendum and they agreed that they would move to the next step following receipt and acceptance of assurances from the newly-formed Government.

This will involve a statutory public consultation on the combined authority’s Governance Review and Scheme before it is submitted to Government.

Cllr Paul Watson, chair of the North East Combined Authority, said: “There have been some significant changes within Government and we need to have certainty that this will not lead to a watering down of the terms of our devolution agreement.

“We are asking the new Government which has just been formed to confirm that the terms of the deal, agreed on 23 October 2015, will be supported in full.

“The decision we make now will have an impact on people’s lives and businesses for many years to come.

“It is vital that we have a full understanding of the new Government’s plans for devolution, including their commitment to deliver the terms we have signed up to.”