The challenge and workload will be considerable, with powers and expectations ranging from delivering policy, to establishing the institutions and capacity for effective city region governance. This briefing outlines three priorities that address the biggest issues facing the Tees Valley. It also offers steps to help the new metro mayor have an impact in their first term.
- A ‘quick win’ will help the mayor to set the tone for delivery right from the start. Delivering results quickly will build trust, and show what the metro mayor is able to do for the city-region. The best ‘quick wins’ in these circumstances are high profile and of value to citizens.
- Strategic decisions form the framework for delivering the metro mayor’s vision. As such, the mayor will have the power to take the decisions that will make the most of the new geography of governance. While the mayor will be keen to show progress towards their vision, strategic decisions will often take longer to show outcomes, therefore careful evaluation is needed to allow for flexibility and to demonstrate the effects.
- A long term vision for the city region will be the key election platform – it is what the mayor is working towards while in office. This should be ambitious, but reflect the real needs and potential of the city region. Some aspects of the vision will be achievable within the mayor’s term in office, while others will build momentum or signal a change in direction. It is important to be clear and strike the balance of where each policy lies on this spectrum.
Policy priority 1: A quick win
Urgently respond to the SSI closure by setting out a plan to help people retrain and access other jobs.
- Prioritise retraining those who lost their jobs
- Work with Whitehall to gain the best results from investment in retraining
- Learn from what has worked in other places
Policy priority 2: A strategic aim
Help long-term unemployed people across the city region get into work
- Learn from how other places have reintegrated the long-term unemployed
- Capitalise on the opportunities presented by Government pilots
Policy priority 3: A longer term vision
Make the most of Middlesbrough city centre to attract more high-skilled, high-waged firms and jobs in a range of industries
- Concentrate investments in Middlesbrough city centre rather than out-of-town sites
- Support the conditions for growth including the built environment