Councillors sitting on TVCA’s cabinet have called for a cancelled meeting to be rescheduled after “disbelief” at there being “nothing to discuss”.

The cabinet meeting due to take place on March 15 was called off with a listing on the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA)'s website saying there were "no substantive agenda items requiring a decision”.

It comes just weeks after a report into the Teesworks project cleared leaders of any corruption, but made 28 recommendations including around transparency and scrutiny.

The meeting would have been the first to be held since the report was published, and was the last scheduled before mayoral elections in May.

The Northern Echo: Cllr Alec Brown.Cllr Alec Brown. (Image: REDCAR AND CLEVELAND COUNCIL)

Cllr Alec Brown, the Labour leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council who sits on the cabinet, said on Saturday (February 17) he’d be writing to Ben Houchen to express his “disbelief” at the at the meeting being cancelled.

He confirmed he’d received a reply from TVCA explaining the meeting was cancelled due to a lack of agenda points, but said it could go ahead if cabinet members wanted.

Cllr Brown told the Echo: “They said if cabinet wishes to have a meeting that’s a matter for the [Ben Houchen] and cabinet. Myself and others are calling for that meeting to go ahead.

“I have sent an email on behalf of myself, Chris Cooke (Middlesbrough Mayor) and Steven Harker (Leader of Darlington Council) calling for the meeting to take place.

“There are 28 recommendations in that report – a lot of them are based around accountability and scrutiny. It’s what we’re elected to do so it’s only right that we are doing that.”

TVCA will have to write to Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove by March 8 responding to the report.

Cllr Brown added: “How can we be writing to Gove without the cabinet discussing it and how we move forward with the recommendations. We are calling to have the meeting before March 8.”

TVCA said it continues to consult local authorities and other parties on the recommendations of the report and said meetings are taking place to discuss it prior to the early March date.

A TVCA spokesperson said: “There are no decisions to be made by TVCA in March and so the meeting was stood down, as is normal practice when there is nothing to be decided at a meeting. This has been done with established procedures.

“In relation to the review, there is a working group of statutory officers from TVCA and all 5 authorities, as well as STDC, working on an action plan to implement the recommendations.

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“The output of this will be brought to cabinet for leaders to consider but this involves, considering potential constitutional amendments and protocols, getting guidance from Government on a number of points and so is likely to take some time to complete.

“We will, of course share the output of this with cabinet members as it becomes available, but this work will not be rushed to make sure all recommendations are considered in detail and in conjunction with all relevant stakeholders.

“The recommendations require full consideration and need to be worked through properly, involving all the local authorities - who we’ve been working with since the report came out.”