More power for region?

THE Tees Valley region could be granted more spending powers from Government in areas such as planning and transport.

The area will be granted permission to bid for the increased powers along with 20 other towns, cities and regions, including Sunderland and the North-East, Cambridge, Hull and Humber, and Ipswich.

The scheme means the selected areas will no longer have to meet strict guidelines from Whitehall, as part of plans to give some councils the right to spend tax revenues collected by companies based in their area.

Ministers have already handed eight cities, including Manchester, Sheffield and Newcastle, more powers over strategic planning decisions and transport, and job training budgets.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is set to announce the latest round of City Deals later.

Mr Clegg is expected to say the country needs “a stronger, more resilient economy, built on the backs of industrious and independent cities”.

He believes regions cannot be “revived just through handouts from Whitehall” and “certainly not now when the Treasury’s coffers are bare”.