North East mayor and devolution: What is the new title, why was it made and who has put their name forward?
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This week saw a huge moment for politics in the North East with Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove signing a deal on Friday giving the North East greater political autonomy in a £1.4 billion devolution deal.
What is the North East’s devolution deal?
Described as a “landmark devolution deal” by the Government, the deal will transfer new powers to leaders across the North East with skill development, transport and housing expected to be supported. The deal was signed on Friday, January 27, by Gove, the North Of Tyne mayor and representatives from seven local authorities. The North of Tyne mayor position will be removed in favour of a new mayoral position. It is currently help by the Labour Party’s Jamie Driscoll.
This new deal is part of a Government plan to see 50% of England covered by devolution deals and will not impact the Tees Valley Combined Authority which includes Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, Darlington and Redcar and Cleveland further south.
Will the North East get a mayor as part of the devolution deal?
The deal does include the chance for the region to be represented by a democratically elected mayor under the North East Mayoral Combined Authority (MCA) which will include Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland, and County Durham.
When will a North East mayor be elected?
It is expected that a mayor for the region will be selected following elections in May 2024.
What will the North East mayor’s responsibilities be?
The Government claims the new mayor can champion the area, help drive investment into the region and can represent local people in conversations with national Government.
Who is standing for the role of North East mayor?
Two candidates have put themselves forward to become the first mayor under the new devolution agreement so far.
The first of these is Jamie Driscoll, current mayor of the North Of Tyne Combined Authority, while current Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness has also put her name forward. Both names will hope to be Labour’s candidate when the election process begins.