We back NEvolution campaign to give North-East more power

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GIVE us the power to grow!

That was the message from town business chiefs to the Government today as they got behind a brand new Hartlepool Mail-backed campaign to clinch more devolved power.

We’ve already got a great town with some impressive economic strength thanks to the City Deal initiative and Enterprise Zone status for its industrial areas.

But now comes a new campaign called NEvolution which, if successful, would boost the town’s influence even further, along with the rest of the region.

It will call for the North-East to be granted more devolved power from Whitehall in skills, transport, and funding.

Dignitaries in Hartlepool have already given their support.

Borough council leader Christopher Akers-Belcher said: “We need to showcase our economic strengths to realise our ambition of increased skills, better transport and access to greater funding for growth.”

Town MP Iain Wright said: “The North-East has huge potential and ambition.

“The scope for our region to be a major player in the renaissance of high-value manufacturing and engineering is truly spectacular.

“However, we are being held back by a Government which doesn’t understand the North-East.”

Stephen Catchpole, managing director of the regeneration agency Tees Valley Unlimited said: “NEvolution fits neatly with our own negotiations as part of the City Deal discussions with the Government.

“We are asking for a single pot of money from the Government, together with great freedom and flexibility in how that would be spent.”

Launched today, in newspapers across the North-East, NEvolution appeals to George Osborne to back the North-East, devolving budgets and powers to local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships.

NEvolution presents a united voice that makes the case for economic investment in the North-East. It is hoped that the campaign will help shape announcements made in the Chancellor’s Spending Review, on June 26.

Colin Tapping, chairman of the Society of Editors Northern Region, said: “Newspapers across the region have put aside their rivalries to support a compelling case to the Chancellor on behalf of their communities.”

“The whole of the North-East stands four-square behind implementation of the Heseltine Report to deliver investment programmes to the region. Our communities have an outstanding track record in transforming investment into real economic growth.”

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