In response to the decision by council leaders in the North East not to proceed with public consultation on the region’s devolution deal, Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of the think Centre for Cities, said:
“It is deeply regrettable that local leaders in the North East have been unable to agree upon taking forward the proposed devolution deal for the area, which could have boosted the region’s long-term economic prospects.
“But this should not signal the end of devolution in the North East. Now may be the time to think instead about devolving power on a different basis within the region – for example, to a ‘Newcastle city region’, which would more closely reflect the geography over which people in that area live, work and access public services.
“National and local leaders must continue to work together to explore these options, and to ensure that devolution in the North East does not come to a standstill.”