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Region offered chance for power
THE Tees Valley will today be offered the chance to join the great cities of England in grabbing key powers from Whitehall, ministers will say.
Powers over tax and spending, welfare-to-work programmes, transport schemes, regeneration projects, business investment and skills training are available, if local leaders can make the case.
Cities Minister Greg Clark, who was born in Middlesbrough, said: “The Tees Valley has been particularly impressive in already pushing very hard for this.
“The way the political leaders in the Tees Valley have come together shows there is a real energy in the area to fulfil the potential that has always been there.”
Until now, only Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield have been given city deals.
However, the Tees Valley Local Economic Partnership (LEP) will compete with 19 other urban areas, including Sunderland, for an unknown number of new deals that will go ahead next year.
And there will be no direct funding reward, merely greater powers to decide how Government grants are spent, at a time when councils are poised to make further cuts.
Linda Edworthy, director of policy at the Tees Valley LEP, said: “I am extremely pleased we are on the list, because having more control over the way we use money is very important.
“It also means we can get the profile that the core cities enjoy at the moment.”