Leaders talk up the Tees Valley in meeting with ministers

Christopher Akers-Belcher.
Christopher Akers-Belcher.

Tees Valley delegates met with Government ministers as they stepped up their bid for more devolved powers.

The leaders and mayor of the five local authorities, including Hartlepool’s, met with Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, and Northern Powerhouse Minister, James Wharton, at Westminster.

We are a hugely ambitious region and with greater devolved powers from London we would be able to drive forward our economic growth plan

Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council

They argued for devolution to the Tees Valley Combined Authority, and for greater powers over transport, skills, employment, economic growth, business support and investment.

Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, Christopher Akers-Belcher, said: “We want to encourage more job creation and help businesses and industries to become even more effective.

“To do that, we need to attract inward investment and help home-grown companies and emerging sectors, like those based in and around Hartlepool, grow and develop.”

Chairwoman of the Shadow Tees Valley Combined Authority and Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Coun Sue Jeffrey, said: “It is our intention to develop an exciting and ambitious devolution proposal, which will enable us to make a bigger contribution to UK-wide economic success, and bring real benefits for our people through increased jobs, skills and shared prosperity.”

Chairman of Tees Valley Unlimited, Sandy Anderson, added: “The five local authorities in the Tees Valley have shown the clear success of working together on economic regeneration, and with this history of close collaboration with business, it is entirely appropriate for them to be seeking greater devolved powers and funding.”