In six months time, the people of Scotland will decide whether or not to remain part of the UK. But the powers they decide on directly affect the powers the North East will be left with.
Without Scotland's contingent of Labour MPs, a Conservative government in Westminster would become much more likely - which could leave the North East, largely a Labour heartland, with less of a voice.
Political Correspondent Paul Brand reports:
More top news
Highways England wants to hear the views of local people about their proposals. The public have until January 6, 2017 to respond.
With a little help from Santa, the 5-year-old turned on Durham County Hall's christmas lights
Looking back on a turbulent year: Paul Brand and guests discuss Brexit, Trump - and hopes for 2017.