North of Tyne devolution plans (which will bring together powers from North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland Councils under a new Combined Authority with devolved responsibility from central government for certain pre-agreed areas of work) are making progress and VODA staff attended a stakeholder event on 10 July.
There are six ‘portfolio areas’ for the new combined authority – Economic Growth, Business Competitiveness, Place and Productivity, Education Improvement, Employability and Inclusion and Housing and Land. The new authority will be in place by October 2018 and a new elected Mayor for the Combined Authority area will be elected by May 2019. The devolution agreement comes with £20 million per year investment fund (for thirty years), plus a Mayoral Capacity Fund of £1 million a year for two years.
VODA will continue to attend any events and along with our colleagues in Newcastle and Northumberland, push for VCS involvement at every step of the devolution process.