Devolution revolution: New powers deal could be a jobs booster

A massive £450m deal has been signed to give the Tees Valley more powers over its own future.

And in Hartlepool, the 30-year devolution deal is expected to create new jobs, attract investment and help secure a replacement for the power station.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the deal - plus a separate one for the North East Combined Authority which takes in councils including Newcastle and Sunderland.

He said: “Our devolution revolution is gathering an unstoppable momentum and I am delighted that again the Northern Powerhouse is leading the way.”

He described the agreements as “historic” and said it was down to the “hard work and vision of the civic leaders of both the North East and Tees Valley who have worked with me to embrace a once in a generation opportunity that will change the shape of local government forever in their regions.

“The old model of trying to run everything in our country from the centre of London is broken.

Christopher Akers-Belcher.

Christopher Akers-Belcher.

“It has led to an unbalanced economy and made people feel remote from the decisions that affect their lives.”

Hartlepool Council leader, Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, said: “Devolution gives us a tremendous opportunity over the coming years to negotiate substantial funds from central Government above and beyond what we would normally receive. It will also enable us to accelerate the growth of our local economy, safeguarding existing jobs and creating many new ones, and it places Hartlepool in prime position to secure a replacement for its existing power station which alone generates £40m a year for the local economy.”

Paul Booth, chair of the local enterprise partnership Tees Valley Unlimited, said: “This places Tees Valley at the vanguard of devolution and gives the area greater powers, greater freedoms and greater resources.”

Devolution would give Tees Valley more powers from central government in transport, skills, employment, economic growth, and business support and investment.

The old model of trying to run everything in our country from the centre of London is broken. It has led to an unbalanced economy and made people feel remote from the decisions that affect their lives

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne