Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Good to see the North East Combined Authority showing the region working together and not against each other

For too long the North East local areas and counties have fought each other like ferrets in a sack. The best example is the 4 separate applications for the Green Investment Bank, when Central Government invited bids for the location of the Green Investment Bank. So I am delighted that the Journal today reports the region coming together and supporting the 7 Local Authorities agreeing to act as one combined Noirth East Authority in order to:
- Pitch for big government and other infrastructure projects
- Make a concerted joined up case to big businesses and overseas investors
- Speak as one on key issues like apprenticeships, devolution and job creation
- And work towards both better transport infrastructure and an integrated transport policy - and the ultimate goal of an Oyster card universal payment system for transport across the region, as so successfully launched in London and the South East.
There is a model for this and this is Greater Manchester - which leads the way in joined up governnment. The Journal has covered this here today as follows:

Two final points: firstly, it is important that this process frees up Unitary and County Councils to focus on the provision and delivery of core services - and not spend their time making 4 individual pitches for the Green Investment Bank, for example; I believe this will happen; and I made the case that this change must not lead to a loss of rural services, in particular rural bus services; myself and Councillors are working very hard to ensure that rural connectivity is not lost.