Hartlepool residents get chance to have say on Tees Valley Combined Authority mayor role

Christopher Akers-Belcher. Picture by FRANK REID
Christopher Akers-Belcher. Picture by FRANK REID

Civic leaders are urging the town’s residents to have their say on proposals for a mayoral combined authority which could give more powers to elected officials.

The Tees Valley Combined Authority was set up in April of this year to help drive economic growth and create jobs and involves Hartlepool as well as Darlington, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton councils.

officials say the authority itself is not a re-creation of Cleveland County Council – the five Tees Valley councils continue in their own right to deliver local services but unite as a combined authority on important and key areas including transport, infrastructure, employment and skills.

The combined authority has already agreed a devolution deal with central government which will result in £15million a year transferring from central to local decision-making.

Consultation is now being undertaken on the powers of the new mayor in what will become a mayoral combined authority from May 2017.

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council and a member of the Tees Valley Combined Authority leadership board, said: “The creation of a combined authority and the devolution deal presents an excellent opportunity over the coming years to attract substantial funds from Central Government over and above what we are expected to receive.

“It results in more decision-making at a local level and gives us more influence to shape our future.

“This latest consultation is really important as it is seeking people’s views on the powers of a new Mayor for the Combined Authority.

“I urge residents and the business community to get involved in the consultation and have their say.”

The combined authority is a statutory body giving Government the certainty of structure and accountability that is necessary to devolve more significant amounts of money and levels of decision making.

Also on the leadership board of the authority are mayor of Middlesbrough David Budd, who is authority chairman, Paul Booth OBE, Coun Bob Cook, leader of Stockton Borough Council, Coun Bill Dixon MBE, leader of Darlington Borough Council and Coun Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

Details of the circulation are being posted to all homes in Hartlepool.

Alternatively, go to www.teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/consultation for further details or to have your say.

A survey can also be completed by visiting www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TV-Mayoral-Combined-Authority-2016. For a paper copy of the questionnaire, call 01642 524428.