Ed Miliband - devolve funding, powers and responsibilities to the region

Ed MilibandEd Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, used a visit to the North East this week to back calls for the Government to devolve funding, powers and responsibilities to local authorities.

 

Following recommendations in the Heseltine Review, seven local authorities in the North East Local Economic Partnership, the LA7 Leadership Board, have requested that the Tory-led Government devolves funding, powers and responsibilities to enable them to drive a local strategy for growth, transport and skills in the northeast of England.

 

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

 

“The North East should have the powers and resources they need to create jobs and get the region’s economy going.

 

“The Tory-led Government need to stop dragging their feet and say whether they will devolve funding and powers to local authorities in the North East of England.

 

“We need to create a recovery made by the many, and I applaud the work and vision of the LA7 Leadership Board.

 

“Our economy has flatlined for nearly three years and ministers are sitting on their hands. The North East needs greater localism to tap into local creativity and create local solutions to local problems.”

 

Ends

 

Editor’s Notes:

 

1.   Last month, the seven local authorities in the North East Local Economic Partnership (LEP) region established a Combined Authority to take on responsibility for transport, skills and economic development.

 

2.   In a submission to the Northeast Independent Economic Review, the Combined Authority (the LA7 Leadership Board) called for government to grant it statutory footing (within the legislative framework for combined authorities set out in the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009) and to devolve the funding, powers and responsibilities to enable them to drive a local strategy for growth, transport and skills in the northeast.

 

3.   Their priorities include:

Growth: to develop a shared vision for growth.

Transport: to accelerate delivery of Smartcard technology across the region and better connect people to jobs through strategic transport investments.

Skills: to address persistent problems of low skills and better connect the needs of employers to local skills provision. This includes a plan to boost the quality and quantity of apprenticeships in the area.