THE politicians who will lead a new North-East “super authority” have been chosen.

Durham County Council leader Simon Henig had already been named as chair of the North East Leadership Board (Nelb) combined authority, which will have powers over transport, skills and economic development across seven councils and nearly a million people from the River Tees to the Scottish border.

Now the Nelb has appointed two vice-chairs: Gateshead Council leader Mick Henry and Norma Redfearn, Mayor of North Tyneside.

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In addition, Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes will take responsibility for transport, Sunderland City Council leader Paul Watson will take the lead on economic development and regeneration and Northumberland County Council leader Grant Davey will be responsible for employment matters.

The combined authority has had a difficult birth, with Sunderland in particular taking some time to sign up.

But Councillor Henig said he was looking forward to the legal process being completed and launching the Nelb as soon as possible.