A new Tees Valley Combined Authority is due to come into effect from April 1 next year and involves Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Darlington and Stockton councils.
But what would it actually mean? In a report Gill Alexander, Hartlepool Borough Council chief executive, set out a number of areas where the new authority would have more power.
1) European Funding: It is claimed a Tees Valley combined authority will have new powers to decide how to use existing European funding based on local knowledge.
2) Planning and Housing: A new Tees Valley Development Corporation, under democratic control of the combined authority, would “move quickly” to use surplus land for housing and business.
3) Transport: A number of major transport projects are needed to support the deal’s aims for economic growth including widening of the A19, a new Tees crossing, improved east-west connectivity and put Tees Valley at the forefront of new proposed bus arrangements.
4) Business Support: Powers for skills funding, education and employment programmes will be devolved to better meet the needs of the region’s employers.
It is said the government would also provide better support for businesses and work with the authority on a joint plan to boost exports.
5) Energy and climate change: The Tees Valley would get support to become a market leader in new green technology and the Government would work with the authority on the future of Hartlepool Power Station.