The news that the 4 councils south of the Tyne have put the brakes on devolution is not good news. I am certain that we should be following the example of the Labour led areas like Greater Manchester and Liverpool that have embraced devolution, greater powers over transport, skills and so much more, but it is interesting that all 3 Councils North of the Tyne, including, to their credit, my own in Northumberland, are keen to press ahead. I know that this government is absolutely committed to devolution and a massive transfer of power from Westminster to the regions. Sajid Javid could not have been clearer about this. Why the 4 south of the tyne councils do not want to proceed is a matter for them but it is not what I would advise.
The Guardian reports the story in part and in full here:
"Sajid Javid, the secretary of state for communities and local government, said he was disappointed with the decision but indicated devolution was not dead in the north-east. A spokeswoman for his department said: “It is disappointing that some north-east councils have been unwilling to support this deal, which would certainly have benefited local people. If councils in the region wish to discuss devolution proposals further, our door remains open.”