The new body that will drive economic growth and job creation across Teesside has met for the first time with transport, inward investment and skills on the agenda.
The Tees Valley Combined Authority harnesses the economy-boosting powers of Tees Valley’s five local councils and Tees Valley Unlimited to promote partnership working between the public and private sector.
Bosses say the authority is not a ‘super-council’ or another version of Cleveland County Council and the five Tees Valley councils, including Hartlepool’s, will continue to exist in their own right delivering local services but unite as a formal Tees Valley Combined Authority to focus on economic development, transport, infrastructure and skills.
The new statutory body will build on the firm economic foundations that have been established by Tees Valley Unlimited, which now is an integral part of the combined authority. The combined authority will also mean that Tees Valley is ideally placed to negotiate with government to secure the transfer of additional powers and resources from Whitehall.
Coun Carl Richardson, the deputy leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The combined authority will mean a seamless approach to creating a stronger Tees Valley and will enable the region to have more influence on national policies and help attract much-needed funding to improve the area’s skills base and create jobs.”
Paul Booth, chair of Tees Valley Unlimited, the Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “A unity of purpose will be created by the combined authority that will help Tees Valley secure a more prosperous economic future.”