'Super council' plan saved, after Sunderland signs up

Darlington and Stockton Times: Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson

NORTH-East council leaders have hammered out a deal to rescue a proposed “super authority”.

The idea of a new body with powers over jobs, training and transport had seemed doomed after Sunderland said it could not sign up until more details emerged.

However, following crisis talks in Durham earlier this week Sunderland is back on board.

Council chiefs will now ask the Government to pass a new law to create the combined authority in April.

The combined authority, to be known as the North East Leadership Board, would stretch from the River Tees to the Scottish borders, covering seven councils and more than a million people.

Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson said: “It’s been clear for some time that although residents, businesses and partners could see benefits in being part of the Combined Authority, they needed reassurance that Sunderland would not be disadvantaged in any way – particularly in relation to economic investment.

“This reflected the city council’s own views.

“Because of this and the fact the Local Authority 7 (councils) hadn’t been able to put some of the essential building blocks in place ahead of the response deadline, I felt the right and responsible thing to do was to ask Government for more time to resolve these fundamental issues before a Combined Authority could be established.

“Having made good progress with colleagues locally on the outstanding issues around the Combined Authority and with Government colleagues – providing local people with the necessary confidence that investment will happen in Sunderland as part of the wider region’s economic development – I am now comfortable to recommend to Government that we move ahead with the establishment of the Combined Authority.”

Durham County Council leader Simon Henig, who is leading the North East Leadership Board in-waiting, said it was a very welcome development.

Comments (5)

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3:28pm Fri 24 Jan 14

settheworldonfire says...

Is this the rising of the 3rd reich again?...With Henig in charge.....
The people do not want this.....All Simon Henig wants is his political ambitions to be achieved...He is a council head who only cares about where he lives Chester le Street.....
Is this the rising of the 3rd reich again?...With Henig in charge..... The people do not want this.....All Simon Henig wants is his political ambitions to be achieved...He is a council head who only cares about where he lives Chester le Street..... settheworldonfire
  • Score: 12

4:14pm Fri 24 Jan 14

David Lacey says...

Here it comes through the back door. The thing that the people voted against by a huge majority. Stand by for an increase in your taxes to pay for it. Still - most of you voted Labour so what do you expect?
Here it comes through the back door. The thing that the people voted against by a huge majority. Stand by for an increase in your taxes to pay for it. Still - most of you voted Labour so what do you expect? David Lacey
  • Score: 8

6:36am Sat 25 Jan 14

doug2413 says...

Investment in sunderland? Just shows how dumb sunderland council is, the people of sunderland will be sold down the river again but there again when did their beloved Labour council ever care about the people of sunderland? Stand by for higher council taxes to pay for more councillors perks.
Investment in sunderland? Just shows how dumb sunderland council is, the people of sunderland will be sold down the river again but there again when did their beloved Labour council ever care about the people of sunderland? Stand by for higher council taxes to pay for more councillors perks. doug2413
  • Score: 1

8:13am Sat 25 Jan 14

George19 says...

There must be something in this for the powers that be, the way they have fought for it, when it was initially announced Henig was against it, it is a different story now when he is going to lead it, all this when the majority voted against it. Where is democracy now?
There must be something in this for the powers that be, the way they have fought for it, when it was initially announced Henig was against it, it is a different story now when he is going to lead it, all this when the majority voted against it. Where is democracy now? George19
  • Score: 3

9:30am Sun 26 Jan 14

hippyjohn says...

no-one wants it! vote them out. then their conniving will have been for nothing
no-one wants it! vote them out. then their conniving will have been for nothing hippyjohn
  • Score: 1

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