I am strong advocate of devolution and the opportunities are massive for the North East. But Gateshead has now decided - after having sign on the dotted line last year - to back out. It is a great shame. I would urge them to get back on board. Why does this matter? Because Teeside, Liverpool, Greater Manchester, and others have seen the massive benefits that devolution has to offer: control of transport, skills, business rates, job creation and so much more. This project will proceed without them but they would be the losers. Crucially the business community is heavily critical of the Gateshead decision.
The chronicle assessment is here: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/devolution-everything-you-need-know-11082124