On Thursday 2nd May you’ll have the chance to choose a mayor for a new combined authority which will work with your existing councils to shape the future of our region. Have your say. Use your vote.

A historic devolution deal with central government is bringing more funding and local decision-making powers to the North East.

To manage these powers, a new mayoral combined authority is being created, spanning County Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

And to lead this new combined authority, a mayor for the region will be elected by the public on Thursday 2nd May.

Estimated to be worth more than £4.2bn of extra investment over the next 30 years, the devolution deal promises to deliver bigger and better outcomes for everyone in the North East.

The new combined authority will invest in skills, transport, homes, and jobs to make a real difference to people’s lives. It’ll mean that more of the decisions that impact our region will be taken here, reducing the processes involved with dealing with central government and offering better value for money. And it puts the North East at the front of the queue for future powers and funding.

The Northern Echo:

Investing in our future

The package for the region includes:
• An investment fund of £1.4bn, or £48m a year, to support inclusive economic growth and regeneration
• A budget of around £1.8bn, or £60m a year, for adult education and skills, to meet local skills priorities and improve opportunities for residents
• A £900m package of investment to transform our transport system, with £563m from the City Regional Sustainable Transport Fund, on top of funding already announced for our buses and Metro system
• £69m of investment in housing and regeneration, unlocking sites to bring forward new housing and commercial development
• It’s also expected to lead to another 24,000 jobs in the region and unlock an additional £5bn in private sector investment

How will it work in practice? The seven local authorities involved already work closely with each other. The devolution deal will be the next step forward in this partnership working.

Fair and accountable

The biggest change will be a directly-elected mayor for the entire region, who will make decisions with council leaders and ensure accountability for powers exercised at a regional level. This mayor will be responsible to voters and will be elected on a four-year term.

Every council will have a representative on the cabinet of the new combined authority. Each cabinet member will represent their own council area as well as having a portfolio of responsibility for the whole region. North East council leaders will all have a say in decisions taken at regional level, and there will be an overview and scrutiny process similar to that already in place in our local authorities.

Your vote counts

This is an unmissable opportunity to have your voice heard in what is a pivotal moment for our region. Use your vote on 2nd May.

Find out more and sign up for updates on the election and candidates at devolutionnortheast.com