Jackie Laughton
Head of Corporate Strategy
North Tyneside Council
Quadrant East, Silver link North
Cobalt Business Park
North Tyneside, NE27 0BY

Jackie,

North Tyneside Business Forum have made every effort to encourage our members to take part in the North of Tyne devolution consultation exercise with many businesses attending the consultation meetings and completing the response forms.

With a membership now of over 800 businesses we would expect there to be a range of views but the Management Group felt that given the importance of the topic that we make a formal response so that the views of the lead business organisation are recorded and we would like to make the following points:

  1. We believe that devolved decision making will improve the results in a range of areas as we have a more detailed and local knowledge of what our local economy wants and needs.
  2. The devolution fund of £600m spread over 30 years will lead to an increase in private sector investment in the area.
  3. We are keen that the new Combined Authority with three Local Authorities initially is set up in a way which allows the opportunity for other neighbouring Local Authorities to join in the future when they consider it appropriate. A larger Combined Authority would give the North East a stronger voice with central government and investors.
  4. We would urge the Combined Authority to consult with the business community in a range of areas to ensure that what is being delivered is what the business community wants and need.

With regards to the specific questions included in the consultation we would like to provide the following answers:

Do you agree or disagree with our proposals to change the way the councils in the North East work together in order for the devolution deal for the North of Tyne to be implemented? Agreed

Do you agree or disagree with our proposals to help improve the quality and availability of housing and support infrastructure in the North of Tyne? Agreed

Do you agree or disagree with our proposals to help improve educational attainment and increase the number of residents moving into work? Agreed

Do you agree or disagree with our proposals to maintain the current joint work on transport across the North East? Agreed

In conclusion the new Combined Authority and devolution deal is supported by the North Tyneside Business Forum as it will lead to improved local decision making, will increase investment in our region, will promote economic growth and increased employment and will be another important part of helping to make North Tyneside a great place to live, work and visit.

I trust that the above is in order any questions please call.

pp. David W Bavaird,
Chair of North Tyneside Business Forum

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