Gateshead Council reject North East 'devo deal'

Gateshead Council's cabinet has rejected plans to bring devolved powers and an elected mayor to the North East.

All seven councils which form the North East Combined Authority are deciding whether to approve the deal.

Northumberland County Council approved the proposal, subject to certain conditions.

Sunderland, Newcastle, Durham, North Tyneside and South Tyneside will make their decisions later this week.

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North East Chamber of Commerce react to Gateshead Council's rejection of devolution

“We are very concerned by this development. Our members have backed devolution because it gives us the opportunity to take control of policy areas where a single national approach has failed to meet the needs of this region.

“The current proposals aren’t everything we ultimately want, but we believe there is much greater chance to get the right powers in place by doing a deal and then building on it – as is happening in Manchester.

“With Tees Valley also pressing ahead with devolution, we have a chance to establish this region as the first fully devolved part of England and show how we can take a lead. If instead we end up with a hole in the middle of the map, that risks sending a very different message to the rest of the world.

“We hope there is a way forward to get this process back on track quickly. The business community remains ready and willing to work with local authorities to make devolution a success for North East England.”

– James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive, North East Chamber of Commerce

NECA react to Gateshead Council rejecting devolution plans

Gateshead Council's cabinet has rejected plans to bring devolved powers and an elected mayor to the North East.

Yesterday, Northumberland County Council approved the proposal, subject to certain conditions.

Sunderland, Newcastle, Durham, North Tyneside and South Tyneside will make their decisions later this week.

A spokesperson for the North East Combined Authority said:

“Each council and the combined authority is required to reach a decision on whether to sign up to the proposed devolution agreement for the North East.

“No final decisions will be made until all council Cabinets and the North East Combined Authority Leadership Board have met.

“It would not be appropriate to speculate on the final outcome until all decisions have been reached.”

– A spokesperson for the North East Combined Authority

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Liberal Democrats: Decision for Gateshead to reject devolution deal "utterly mad"

The Millennium Bridge in Gateshead Credit: PA (library image)

Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition in Gateshead, Cllr Jonathan Wallace, has described the Labour Council Cabinet’s decision to reject the proposed devolution package to the North East as “utterly mad.”

The Cabinet met (22nd March) to discuss the package that had been negotiated by the 7 council leaders in the region with the government.

They rejected the devolution deal and the idea of a regional elected mayor.

“This decision is completely the wrong one. We have on offer from the government control over skills training, economic development, transport and planning. There is even the possibility of taking on some health powers.

Labour have not even put Gateshead into the Slow Lane. Instead they have put us in the No Lane – no extra powers, no extra investment, no hope.

– Cllr Wallace, Lib Dem

Gateshead Council say they rejected devolution deal because Government didn't satisfy agreed conditions

Gateshead Council say they have rejected plans for devolution and elected mayors as the Government didn't satisfy agreed conditions of the proposed deals.

The leader of Gateshead Council Mick Henry said:

Gateshead Council supports genuine devolution for the North East of England. We’ve been open minded throughout the process and we asked Government to do the same. We signed up to the proposed agreement with conditions, and we do not believe those conditions have been satisfied.

We will continue to work with neighbouring local authorities to our mutual benefit and deliver the best possible public services to the people of Gateshead and the North East region.”

– Leader of Gateshead Council, Mick Henry
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