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Have your say on: The proposals for a Tees Valley Combined Authority

This consultation has now closed. Details of the consultation can be found below.

Introduction

The five local councils in the Tees Valley (Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees) are asking for your views on proposals to form a Combined Authority for the Tees Valley.

This page is intended to explain what a Combined Authority is, as well as what it isn't, and why we think it's a good idea.

Building on our strength

The five councils already work closely together with local business to strengthen our local economy, attract new business investment, create more jobs, support businesses to grow, and improve transport and local skills. To do this, the five councils already jointly fund an organisation called Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) to work for the whole Tees Valley.

As well as attracting investment from businesses, TVU has, since 2010, secured over £186m of European funds and well over £165m of UK Government funds.

We work very closely in partnership with businesses, through the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). This partnership has served us well for many years and the way we work across all five councils and with business is often seen as a good example for other areas of the country to follow. The strength of our LEP has helped TVU to secure the large resources detailed above.

So why change?

We are hugely ambitious for the Tees Valley and our communities. Our existing governance arrangements have served us well but we are in a fast changing world and it is essential that we build on our success.

We want to cement our partnership in law, so that it offers all of us, including our businesses, certainty that we are working together for the long-term. And we want to be ready to accept new powers and resources from Government which may be given to Combined Authorities in the future.

We want to continue to be a big player, competing successfully alongside other, often much larger regions, both in the UK and internationally. Some areas already have greater powers and resources as a result of creating a Combined Authority - we believe we should not be left behind. This is about a new era of joint working, building on the strengths we have created together.

What options have we considered?

We have examined four potential models overall:

These were assessed against criteria including operational efficiency and effectiveness; capability to enhance our economic development; local authority governance; public sector financial management; and engaging with the private sector. We have concluded that the Combined Authority model is the most effective model for us and a summary of the rationale is included in the detailed Governance Review report.

What would a Combined Authority do?

We have produced a more detailed report that went to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's Cabinet meeting on the 9th December 2014 and a set of Frequently Asked Questions which you can read.

This sets out what the Combined Authority would do and what the local councils would continue to do. In summary, the Combined Authority would focus on economic growth and our ambition to create 25,000 new jobs for the Tees Valley.

What impact will this have on our existing local councils?

The role of each of the five councils will be undiminished. Each council will still be responsible, for example, for social care of young people and adults, local regeneration strategies, highways repairs and maintenance, libraries and the many other services we currently run.

This also means that a Combined Authority is NOT a recreation of the former Cleveland County Council.

Resource Implications

We estimate that there would be minimal additional running costs. For more information on this, please refer to the report that went to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's Cabinet meeting on the 9th December 2014 and the FAQs. In summary, the small additional running costs would be dwarfed by the potential financial gains from Government.

How do I have my say?

Please complete the online questionnaire by no later than 31st January 2015. There is space for your own wording too.

Further information

There is a package of information available here:

 icon Consultation Document.pdf (157.52k)

A short questionnaire which is being used across the whole Tees Valley area

 icon Some frequently asked questions (combined authority FAQs includes comments.pdf - 27.45k)

 icon Draft Tees Valley Governance Review (Draft Tees Valley Governance Review.pdf - 1.65Mb)

 icon A detailed report to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's Cabinet meeting on the 9th December 2014 (RCBC Cabinet Report_Combined Authority_9th December 2014.pdf - 391.59k)

 icon Press releases (2014 12 10 Combined Authority consultation press release.pdf - 127.55k)

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