THE recently appointed leader of Hartlepool Borough Council has thrown his weight behind a campaign to bring more power to the region.
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Labour Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, today confirmed the authority would be right behind the new NEvolution project which is backed by the Hartlepool Mail.
He said it was important to back a campaign that would improve the skills base, funding and transport.
He stressed how vital it was for Hartlepool to tackle issues such as unemployment, particularly among youths.
He added: “Our overall aim in Hartlepool is to support the NEvolution agenda while locally being the champion for sustainable regeneration and development.
“In Hartlepool and across the region as a whole unemployment and underemployment is a huge concern, with youth unemployment destabalising our local economy, which in turn wastes the talents of our most productive resource for the future.”
He said the council wanted to bring in measures to give young people a chance to contribute to the growth of the economy.
He added:“The longer this issue is left unchallenged the greater long-term problems we create for Hartlepool.”
He outlined what needed to be done to improve the town.
“We need to invest in new business ventures that help people back into work, but also engineer real opportunities for skills and training that provide a genuine route to quality, well-paid jobs.”
He said the council would work with business and supply chains in conjunction with employees, trade unions and training providers to develop a skilled work force for the future.
“Through all of this we will provide leadership that is accountable, visible and responsive to our communities and work in partnership with the statutory, business and third sectors to collectively drive forward continuing improvement.”
Coun Akers-Belcher added: “This work can only complement the regional aspiration of devolved power, responsibility, resources and funding.
“We need to showcase our economic strengths to realise our ambition of increased skills, better transport and access to greater funding for growth.”