THE announcement of a “digital city” for Middlesbrough is a welcome sign of forward thinking.

However, I fear that in the absence of a co-ordinated regional strategy – and due to competition with Newcastle – this effort will underachieve.

We need much better links between the Tees Valley towns such that they can function as one city region, but fragmented bus services, political rivalry and lack of funding make this impossible under the current arrangements.

Only full regional devolution and fair funding will allow the region to catch up with elsewhere in England.

Cllr Mark Burdon, North East Party PPC for Stockton North, Billingham.