NOT – THE NEW NORTHUMBERLAND?
Way back in August, Lowick.Live published at article about the amalgamation of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland to form a new administrative area – The North of Tyne Area [NOT for short]. This proposal is now heading towards a decision – to be made not by YOU the voters, but by the “Secretary of State”.
All this explained on the Consultation website which is a lttle short of detail. For example, it doesn’t say who the “Secretary of State” is – or which Secretary of State for that matter – just in case you might want to contact him [or her] directly yourself. Here is the link to the website which tells some of the story:
Briefly, the proposal is for these three Councils to create a devolved “super local authority” with powers and money to create opportunity in NOT. These powers will involve:
- A new, directly elected Mayor for North of Tyne
- £600 million of extra money to invest in the North of Tyne.
- Projects to improve education, skills and help people get into work.
- Local control of the £23 million per year budget for adult education.
- Powers to develop land for economic growth and regeneration.
- Projects that increase the growth and productivity of our rural communities.
- Working better with Government to boost trade and investment.
- Projects to grow our digital sector and low-carbon economy.
- A joint committee to manage public transport across the North East.
- A commitment to explore new opportunities for the North of Tyne in future.
This will be administered from the offices occupied by North Tyneside in the Cobalt Business Park.
In addition to the Mayor, it will be run by a cabinet of 6 [plus some others] – 2 from each of the 3 Council Areas – these will be nominated by the councils themselves.
Is this an exciting opportunity? A chance for a new strategic vision linking the very different parts of the area? An opportunity for less bureaucracy, or more? The amalgamation of Newcastle and Northumberland’s housing administration a few days ago – is this part of the agenda for change we can expect more of in the future?
You may wonder what is in in for us in the Berwick district – how will our new Mayor and his/her cabinet keep their ear to the ground in the North? What will the role of the County Council be?
Only a few days remain for you to give your views to those running the consultation, before this evidence is handed to the “Secretary of State”. Here is the direct link to the questionnaire -let them know what you think about NOT and the new proposals for local government that it contains.
You have until February 5th.