Super-council for North-East set to be launched in April, Government says

Darlington and Stockton Times: Simon Henig Simon Henig

THE group pushing for a North-East super-council has welcomed news that it will be set up this spring.

The Cabinet Office has announced today (Wednesday, March 5) that the process is underway to create a new combined authority for the region in April.

The LA7 group , made up of Durham, Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland, North Tyneside and South Tyneside councils, want to be able to co-ordiniate their efforts and plan for major economic developments.

The new authority will not replace the existing local government structure.

But it could have devolved powers to stimulate economic growth, job creation, skills development and improve transport links.

Today’s news paves the way for the formal enabling order to be agreed by parliament allowing the establishment of the Combined Authority to move ahead from April 1.

Durham County Council’s leader Simon Henig, chairman of the North-East Leadership Board that represents the seven councils, welcomed the move.

He said: “Working together is the best way to promote jobs and growth and to secure devolution of funding, powers and responsibilities from Government.

“We share ambitious plans for the future of our area and we are determined to work together to deliver them.

“We are therefore delighted to receive today’s news from Cabinet Office and look forward to the necessary formalities being progressed so that we can launch on April 1 this year.

“This is all about playing to our strengths and uniting to ensure the brightest possible prospects for our residents and our businesses.

“This is an important and exciting moment in our history and we are ready now to deliver on our ambitious plans.”

The combined authority is backed backed by business organisations in the region, including the influential North-East Chamber of Commerce.

Earlier this year there were fears the region may miss out on the new body when it was reveal the North-East had been left off a list of proposed super-councils because Sunderland City Council had stalled over an agreement.

Its leader, Paul Watson said it could not sign up until more details were known but the authority eventually did back the initiative following talks with the other authorities.

Comments (16)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:37pm Wed 5 Mar 14

David Lacey says...

In November 2004 the people of the North East rejected the creation of an elected Regional Assembly. However many voters may not have known that they already had an unelected Regional Assembly beavering away from its base at the Guildhall in Newcastle.
In July 2007 Labour decided to scrap these bodies – branded expensive, unnecessary and unaccountable - and devolve the powers they held to local authorities. Was that the end of it? Not a bit!
First of all they got together and set up Regional Local Authority Leaders’ Boards and simply transferred into them the powers of the defunct Assemblies. In stepped Eric Pickles and forced their closure, with a saving of £16 million a year. Did they get the message? Absolutely not.
We should therefore not be shocked to learn that in spite of these attempts from across the political spectrum to stop council Chiefs spending our taxes on meaningless talking shops, once again they are up to their old tricks.
They are seeking permission to set up a new North East Leadership Board, stretching from the River Tees to the Scottish borders, covering seven councils and more than a million people. Lurking in the wings as its potential boss is Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council. When he appeared in the regional slot on Sunday’s Daily Politics show, Mr Henig repeatedly avoided giving a guarantee that council tax payers wouldn’t have to stump up more money to fund his pet project.
.
If this report is true, they've got their way via the back door.
In November 2004 the people of the North East rejected the creation of an elected Regional Assembly. However many voters may not have known that they already had an unelected Regional Assembly beavering away from its base at the Guildhall in Newcastle. In July 2007 Labour decided to scrap these bodies – branded expensive, unnecessary and unaccountable - and devolve the powers they held to local authorities. Was that the end of it? Not a bit! First of all they got together and set up Regional Local Authority Leaders’ Boards and simply transferred into them the powers of the defunct Assemblies. In stepped Eric Pickles and forced their closure, with a saving of £16 million a year. Did they get the message? Absolutely not. We should therefore not be shocked to learn that in spite of these attempts from across the political spectrum to stop council Chiefs spending our taxes on meaningless talking shops, once again they are up to their old tricks. They are seeking permission to set up a new North East Leadership Board, stretching from the River Tees to the Scottish borders, covering seven councils and more than a million people. Lurking in the wings as its potential boss is Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council. When he appeared in the regional slot on Sunday’s Daily Politics show, Mr Henig repeatedly avoided giving a guarantee that council tax payers wouldn’t have to stump up more money to fund his pet project. . If this report is true, they've got their way via the back door. David Lacey
  • Score: 20

5:40pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Copley23 says...

Simon Henig - thanks for consult....not.

You have conveniently forgotten the west side of your current patch pal. Rural.
5 letters.
Easy really.

But you'd no more care about that than you would eat your own hat. Since 'the man' got rid of the Districts, anything west of the A68 is not important right?

Tsk tsk. DCC has made a balls up of the whole job. Well done!
Simon Henig - thanks for consult....not. You have conveniently forgotten the west side of your current patch pal. Rural. 5 letters. Easy really. But you'd no more care about that than you would eat your own hat. Since 'the man' got rid of the Districts, anything west of the A68 is not important right? Tsk tsk. DCC has made a balls up of the whole job. Well done! Copley23
  • Score: 15

7:49pm Wed 5 Mar 14

sineater says...

Jealousy is so unbecoming girls, retract your claws dearies --ha ha ha
Jealousy is so unbecoming girls, retract your claws dearies --ha ha ha sineater
  • Score: -15

8:00pm Wed 5 Mar 14

settheworldonfire says...

sineater wrote:
Jealousy is so unbecoming girls, retract your claws dearies --ha ha ha
HENIG only has his sights set on being an M.P. down London with his secret Tory pals...Labour my ****......
The people of County Durham do not want this....Will they ever fooking listen....????????
[quote][p][bold]sineater[/bold] wrote: Jealousy is so unbecoming girls, retract your claws dearies --ha ha ha[/p][/quote]HENIG only has his sights set on being an M.P. down London with his secret Tory pals...Labour my ****...... The people of County Durham do not want this....Will they ever fooking listen....???????? settheworldonfire
  • Score: 13

8:00pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Nicholas_Till says...

"The combined authority is backed by business organisations in the region, including the influential North-East Chamber of Commerce..."

I'm sure the NECC is indeed influential here. At least two of its prominenten, James Ramsbotham and John Mowbray, are Common Purpose 'graduates'. The Common Purpose network has a very ugly track record of taking over and corrupting institutions, seemingly so as to pave the way for a dictatorship, along the lines of, "cause a problem, then 'solve' it..." Check out: UK Column, and, Common Purpose Exposed on the Internet.
"The combined authority is backed by business organisations in the region, including the influential North-East Chamber of Commerce..." I'm sure the NECC is indeed influential here. At least two of its prominenten, James Ramsbotham and John Mowbray, are Common Purpose 'graduates'. The Common Purpose network has a very ugly track record of taking over and corrupting institutions, seemingly so as to pave the way for a dictatorship, along the lines of, "cause a problem, then 'solve' it..." Check out: UK Column, and, Common Purpose Exposed on the Internet. Nicholas_Till
  • Score: 2

8:21pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Durhamite1979 says...

Brilliant! More civil servants! Aren't we lucky.

Red or blue, you politicians are a bunch of self-centred _____s.
Brilliant! More civil servants! Aren't we lucky. Red or blue, you politicians are a bunch of self-centred _____s. Durhamite1979
  • Score: 11

8:45pm Wed 5 Mar 14

sineater says...

S TWOF, Like I said before ,pull your claws in jealous cat !!
S TWOF, Like I said before ,pull your claws in jealous cat !! sineater
  • Score: -15

9:00pm Wed 5 Mar 14

DURHAM CITY says...

What a disgrace
What a disgrace DURHAM CITY
  • Score: 10

9:02pm Wed 5 Mar 14

DURHAM CITY says...

sineater wrote:
Jealousy is so unbecoming girls, retract your claws dearies --ha ha ha
Just because you comb his hair and polish his shoes you sad man
[quote][p][bold]sineater[/bold] wrote: Jealousy is so unbecoming girls, retract your claws dearies --ha ha ha[/p][/quote]Just because you comb his hair and polish his shoes you sad man DURHAM CITY
  • Score: 9

10:44pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Longbowman666 says...

Makes you laugh - they can't even run their own authorities properly, so now they're going to have a stab at doing this.

And when that becomes just another swallower of public money, who will they blame then - oh yes, the government.
Makes you laugh - they can't even run their own authorities properly, so now they're going to have a stab at doing this. And when that becomes just another swallower of public money, who will they blame then - oh yes, the government. Longbowman666
  • Score: 11

4:51am Thu 6 Mar 14

tubgut says...

Wonderful another layer to the already large pile of garbage, more time wasting, more money down the drain. What's needed are small dynamic groups to promote the North East, more Nissan's and less hot air. People should think long and hard about who they vote for at the next election. The current body politic has failed the people for decades, time throw out the garbage. More of the same we don't need.
Wonderful another layer to the already large pile of garbage, more time wasting, more money down the drain. What's needed are small dynamic groups to promote the North East, more Nissan's and less hot air. People should think long and hard about who they vote for at the next election. The current body politic has failed the people for decades, time throw out the garbage. More of the same we don't need. tubgut
  • Score: 8

8:00am Thu 6 Mar 14

Ally F says...

An open letter to Sineater,

I find most of the regular contributors to the Echo on-line forums, insightful, articulate, opinionated, and usually quite well informed. I don't always agree with what they say, sometimes I hold the exact polar opposite view, but they contribute to an informed discourse about topical news and local issues.

You, by contrast. If I may quote you "Jealousy is so unbecoming girls, retract your claws dearies --ha ha ha"

You seem to have lost the plot and personalised your politics? There's no place for that here, please go elsewhere.

Respectfully and sincerely; contribute in a constructive and informed way to Echo forum discussions, or go and make a fool of yourself somewhere else.

Sincerely,

Alistair Fisher (Ally F)
An open letter to Sineater, I find most of the regular contributors to the Echo on-line forums, insightful, articulate, opinionated, and usually quite well informed. I don't always agree with what they say, sometimes I hold the exact polar opposite view, but they contribute to an informed discourse about topical news and local issues. You, by contrast. If I may quote you "Jealousy is so unbecoming girls, retract your claws dearies --ha ha ha" You seem to have lost the plot and personalised your politics? There's no place for that here, please go elsewhere. Respectfully and sincerely; contribute in a constructive and informed way to Echo forum discussions, or go and make a fool of yourself somewhere else. Sincerely, Alistair Fisher (Ally F) Ally F
  • Score: 15

8:13am Thu 6 Mar 14

Ally F says...

Right, that aside, back to the subject matter:

Hard to see the 'Super Council' plans as anything other than another level of regional bureaucracy between central Government and the seven Regional Authorities. It smacks to me as another greasy pole for local Civil Servant mandarins to climb up furthering their own careers and ambitions.

Having said that, there is something like 326 regional authorities in England, and they are a massive drain on the public purse. I'm all for merging a few, and for legislation allowing the more successful and efficient to take over the weaker and grossly inefficient. If someone else can do the job much better and cheaper, get rid of the failing ones. Matters not to me which party political flag flies over the building they are in.

There must be an electoral mandate for such things however, I don't recall being asked recently if I wanted 7 regional authorities to merge. I probably would if that resulted in cost savings and more efficient service delivery. However, I suspect this plan is just another level of hierarchy being introduced and nothing would in effect change within the 7 regional authorities.
Right, that aside, back to the subject matter: Hard to see the 'Super Council' plans as anything other than another level of regional bureaucracy between central Government and the seven Regional Authorities. It smacks to me as another greasy pole for local Civil Servant mandarins to climb up furthering their own careers and ambitions. Having said that, there is something like 326 regional authorities in England, and they are a massive drain on the public purse. I'm all for merging a few, and for legislation allowing the more successful and efficient to take over the weaker and grossly inefficient. If someone else can do the job much better and cheaper, get rid of the failing ones. Matters not to me which party political flag flies over the building they are in. There must be an electoral mandate for such things however, I don't recall being asked recently if I wanted 7 regional authorities to merge. I probably would if that resulted in cost savings and more efficient service delivery. However, I suspect this plan is just another level of hierarchy being introduced and nothing would in effect change within the 7 regional authorities. Ally F
  • Score: 8

9:22am Thu 6 Mar 14

David Lacey says...

Two tremendous contributions from Alistair Fisher. Thanks. Unfortunately your words in respect of our resident clown will fall on deaf ears.
Two tremendous contributions from Alistair Fisher. Thanks. Unfortunately your words in respect of our resident clown will fall on deaf ears. David Lacey
  • Score: 11

9:09pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Nicholas_Till says...

I believe it's the EU 'Regionalisation' agenda that's being pushed pell-mell here. That doesn't mean what many in the NE would probably like - a more autonomous NE England that is still an integral part of the UK - but the reduction of the UK to 12 EU Regions each ruled directly and separately by the EU superstate. That is to say, There won't always be an England, if the movers of this get their way. Some may think, So what? The EU superstate may be better than England has been. But I don't think so. It is an unaccountable racket on the way to becoming a dictatorship, and a future under it is likely to be terrible if it gains complete sway over a Europe of smallish, relatively impotent regions.

The Teesside councils don't seem to want to be on this bandwaggon, and I don't blame them.
I believe it's the EU 'Regionalisation' agenda that's being pushed pell-mell here. That doesn't mean what many in the NE would probably like - a more autonomous NE England that is still an integral part of the UK - but the reduction of the UK to 12 EU Regions each ruled directly and separately by the EU superstate. That is to say, There won't always be an England, if the movers of this get their way. Some may think, So what? The EU superstate may be better than England has been. But I don't think so. It is an unaccountable racket on the way to becoming a dictatorship, and a future under it is likely to be terrible if it gains complete sway over a Europe of smallish, relatively impotent regions. The Teesside councils don't seem to want to be on this bandwaggon, and I don't blame them. Nicholas_Till
  • Score: 3

1:23pm Sat 8 Mar 14

rat man says...

Cut jobs at the bottom, and create another tier of local government at the top!
Cut jobs at the bottom, and create another tier of local government at the top! rat man
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree