Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Cabinet Decision: 4th December 2014
Title of Item/Report
Tees Valley Unlimited Governance - A Combined Authority for the Tees Valley
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report on Tees Valley Unlimited Governance - A Combined Authority for the Tees Valley.

The purpose of the report was to:

• Highlight the ambition for establishing a Combined Authority for the Tees Valley to achieve economic goals and to receive greater devolved powers
• Clarify what the Combined Authority would do
• Clarify its membership
• Clarify its relationship with the LEP
• Describe the scrutiny arrangements and how they would be funded
• Provide an update on timescales following a recent discussion with DCLG
• Set out plans for consulting on our Combined Authority
• Outline the decision-making process going forward

The principal functions of the Combined Authority would be to:-

(i) Set the strategic economic vision, key priorities and outcomes for the Tees Valley area, in relation to:-

• Economic Development;
• Strategic Transport and Infrastructure
• Employment and Skills
• Business Investment
• Low Carbon; and to

(ii) Fulfil other duties and responsibilities including to:-

• determine the use of funding received for joint purposes;
• approve the commissioning of capital projects; and
• consider funding agreements and joint venture arrangements

The proposed Terms of Reference for the Combined Authority was attached to the report setting out a comprehensive list of its functions in relation to each of the functional areas in (i) above. It also set out the decisions that the Combined Authority would take, alongside the decisions to be taken by the local authorities.

Some detail of the current TVU management and financial arrangements and the detailed proceedings of the Combined Authority were attached to the report.

As part of the development of the new arrangements further work would be undertaken to establish the support arrangements and model for scrutiny. More detail behind the scrutiny arrangements was attached to the report.

A detailed consultation plan had been developed and would be implemented subject to all five Cabinets' / Finance & Policy Committee's approvals. Considerable work had already been undertaken to inform key stakeholders about our ambitions and the rationale for a Combined Authority for the Tees Valley, but consultation would commence in earnest as soon as all five authorities had approved the report. Set out below was a summary of the approach to consultation.

There were a range of organisations, groups, individuals which may form part of the proposed consultation arrangements:-

• Association of North East Councils/North Yorkshire Councils
• Businesses and Business Organisations
• Colleges/Schools
• Durham Tees Valley Airport
• Government Departments and Agencies
• Members of Parliament and House of Lords representatives
• North Yorkshire LEP
• Parish and Town Councils
• Ports
• Regional and Sub Regional Newspaper Editors
• Residents
• TVLEP/NE Combined Authority
• Trade Unions
• Universities
• Other partners

The consultation with those groups detailed above would be arranged and delivered in December 2014 and January 2015.

For each of the target groups there were a range of potential options. Taking the examples cited from the NE Combined Authority, which was recommended to by CLG, the proposal would be as follows:-

• Key documents and FAQ and contact information for feedback on each LA website.
• Letter to key stakeholders inviting direct response to proposals.
• Key contacts for each key consultee for more detailed discussion for feedback if required.
• Online consultation with residents via each authority website.

RESOLVED that:-

1. The progress being made towards the creation of a Combined Authority for the Tees Valley as set out in the report be endorsed.

2. Appropriate consultation be carried out as outlined in the report.
3. A further report to all five Borough Councils at the conclusion of the consultation prior to submission of a scheme to the Secretary of State be received.
Reasons for the Decision
To obtain in principle support for the establishment of a Combined Authority for the Tees Valley, in order to deliver the maximum economic benefits for the Borough and the Tees Valley; and to ensure appropriate consultation about the proposals is carried out with all interested parties, prior to a further report to all five Councils and the submission of a scheme to the Secretary of State.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
None
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Councillor Harrington declared a personal non prejudicial interest in respect of agenda item 5 - Tees Valley Unlimited Governance - A Combined Authority for the Tees Valley as he was employed by a local authority named within the report.
Details of any Dispensations
N/A
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight on Friday, 12th December 2014
Attachment

Date of Publication: 08 December 2014


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