Two North East areas could be given greater independence from Whitehall in a bid to help them boost regional economic growth, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced.
Sunderland and the Tees Valley are two of 20 areas are being considered for City Deal.
The "cities" are to enter negotiations with the Government to take on powers and responsibilities that will give them greater scope to thrive.
Nick Clegg believes this deals will be positive for the North East.
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They say local churches have already responded and will continue to pray, offer pastoral care and assist those affected.