Still time to win total backing for North-East super council says Durham's leader

Darlington and Stockton Times: Simon Henig: Still time to get support Simon Henig: Still time to get support

THE push for a North-East super council will continue despite one authority’s reluctance to take part, the man who would be its leader said today (Monday, January 13).

Sunderland City Council has said it will not join six other councils in the bid for a region-wide authority - responsible for the economy, jobs and transport - until the implications of the move are clearer.

The council’s Labour leader Paul Watson said that Sunderland cannot agree to the move until details such as the new authority’s powers and funding are settled.

The Labour leader of Durham County Council, Simon Henig, chairman of the North East Leadership Board in-waiting, has said he believes the region needs a strong voice to get the most from an economic recovery centred on London.

And he said today (Monday, January 13) that there was still time to get unanimous support for the new authority, which would exist alongside Durham, Northumberland, Sunderland, Newcastle, Gateshead North Tyneside and South Tyneside councils.

He said: “We all recognise the importance of working together to promote jobs and growth and to give the region a greater say on key decisions and funding.

“We have made a strong proposal to the Government to establish a combined authority and joint arrangements for jobs, skills and economic growth.

“We have been particularly grateful for the considerable support for these plans shown by the local business community – notably the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce – and by many other partner organisations and members of the public.

“A short period of opportunity still exists to achieve unanimous support for the combined authority and we will continue to work through this period to try to achieve this.”

Reponding to Coun Watson's doubts, North East Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive James Ramsbotham, said: “Local authorities risk letting this area down badly by failing to show the required unity and leadership to take our economy forward.

“Too many times parochial politics have got in the way of important developments for our regional economy and this must not happen now.”

The only existing combined authority, in Greater Manchester, has been given control of about £1.2bn of Government spending.

The Government has been consulting on plans for a similar body in this region, which would require an Act of Parliament.

Comments (6)

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5:38pm Mon 13 Jan 14

Voice-of-reality says...

Has Henig not read the other article in today's Echo? - The one noting that people wish to have less money spent on bureaucratic internal structural naval gazing by DCC and others. The man really should be put out to graze.
Has Henig not read the other article in today's Echo? - The one noting that people wish to have less money spent on bureaucratic internal structural naval gazing by DCC and others. The man really should be put out to graze. Voice-of-reality

6:44pm Mon 13 Jan 14

FMBagain says...

Henig should have by now learned his lesson and at least start to take note of his electorate and stop riding rough-shod over them.

The people of the North East already gave a resounding NO to Labour's attempt to create a regional assembly. The people of County Durham gave a resounding NO to the creation of a County Durham Unitary authority in 2008 but Durham County Council along with the then Labour Governmnet simply ignored this and railroaded it through anyway. 5 years later and the savings and equality of services across the districts are still yet to materialise - and all the people of County Durham now have is no localism!

What about the authorities of the Tees Valley? Is this suggested North-East Regional super authority simply going to ignore there existance - perhaps jettison them off to Yorkshire because it suits?

Hat's off to Paul Watson for his stance. Sunderland is rapidly developing as a forward thinking authority looking after its people. Don't get pulled back 30 years by 're-joining' with Durham!
Henig should have by now learned his lesson and at least start to take note of his electorate and stop riding rough-shod over them. The people of the North East already gave a resounding NO to Labour's attempt to create a regional assembly. The people of County Durham gave a resounding NO to the creation of a County Durham Unitary authority in 2008 but Durham County Council along with the then Labour Governmnet simply ignored this and railroaded it through anyway. 5 years later and the savings and equality of services across the districts are still yet to materialise - and all the people of County Durham now have is no localism! What about the authorities of the Tees Valley? Is this suggested North-East Regional super authority simply going to ignore there existance - perhaps jettison them off to Yorkshire because it suits? Hat's off to Paul Watson for his stance. Sunderland is rapidly developing as a forward thinking authority looking after its people. Don't get pulled back 30 years by 're-joining' with Durham! FMBagain

10:56pm Mon 13 Jan 14

DURHAM CITY says...

FMBagain wrote:
Henig should have by now learned his lesson and at least start to take note of his electorate and stop riding rough-shod over them.

The people of the North East already gave a resounding NO to Labour's attempt to create a regional assembly. The people of County Durham gave a resounding NO to the creation of a County Durham Unitary authority in 2008 but Durham County Council along with the then Labour Governmnet simply ignored this and railroaded it through anyway. 5 years later and the savings and equality of services across the districts are still yet to materialise - and all the people of County Durham now have is no localism!

What about the authorities of the Tees Valley? Is this suggested North-East Regional super authority simply going to ignore there existance - perhaps jettison them off to Yorkshire because it suits?

Hat's off to Paul Watson for his stance. Sunderland is rapidly developing as a forward thinking authority looking after its people. Don't get pulled back 30 years by 're-joining' with Durham!
Well said
[quote][p][bold]FMBagain[/bold] wrote: Henig should have by now learned his lesson and at least start to take note of his electorate and stop riding rough-shod over them. The people of the North East already gave a resounding NO to Labour's attempt to create a regional assembly. The people of County Durham gave a resounding NO to the creation of a County Durham Unitary authority in 2008 but Durham County Council along with the then Labour Governmnet simply ignored this and railroaded it through anyway. 5 years later and the savings and equality of services across the districts are still yet to materialise - and all the people of County Durham now have is no localism! What about the authorities of the Tees Valley? Is this suggested North-East Regional super authority simply going to ignore there existance - perhaps jettison them off to Yorkshire because it suits? Hat's off to Paul Watson for his stance. Sunderland is rapidly developing as a forward thinking authority looking after its people. Don't get pulled back 30 years by 're-joining' with Durham![/p][/quote]Well said DURHAM CITY

5:10am Tue 14 Jan 14

flaxton says...

Typical Labour rubbish, "form a committee to have a meeting" and when that ends up in the usual expensive garbage can full of unresolved issues; form another even bigger committee.
Typical Labour rubbish, "form a committee to have a meeting" and when that ends up in the usual expensive garbage can full of unresolved issues; form another even bigger committee. flaxton

12:16pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Ally F says...

Just who has appointed Henig 'leader in waiting'? Do I as a tax-payer recall being asked my consent to fund this post, presumably to run alongside his existing post/s?

This plan is nothing more than personal empire building from public sector fat cats on over-inflated remuneration and pension schemes. There are already far too many pointless public sector jobs with the corridors of our local authorities. Talking shops and quangos created in the interests of regional areas are just that - all talk and no action. It's thousands of SMEs and hard graft that generates a region's wealth and prosperity not the grey suited local authority buffet and buIIsh!t boys dreaming up half-baked and fanciful regional plans which never make it past first base in the real world.
Just who has appointed Henig 'leader in waiting'? Do I as a tax-payer recall being asked my consent to fund this post, presumably to run alongside his existing post/s? This plan is nothing more than personal empire building from public sector fat cats on over-inflated remuneration and pension schemes. There are already far too many pointless public sector jobs with the corridors of our local authorities. Talking shops and quangos created in the interests of regional areas are just that - all talk and no action. It's thousands of SMEs and hard graft that generates a region's wealth and prosperity not the grey suited local authority buffet and buIIsh!t boys dreaming up half-baked and fanciful regional plans which never make it past first base in the real world. Ally F

6:29pm Tue 14 Jan 14

settheworldonfire says...

If you all hate Simon Henig please sign below.....
If you all hate Simon Henig please sign below..... settheworldonfire

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