Tyne & Wear

North East councils agree to form Combined Authority

Councils in the north-east of England have agreed to form a Combined Authority in the hope of giving the region a "stronger voice".

The seven local authorities agreed to apply to the government to make the LA7 Leadership Board a Combined Authority at a meeting on Monday.

It is hoped the move will gain "more powers and funding" for the area.

Gateshead Council leader Mick Henry said all the councils wanted what was "best" for the region.

Mr Henry said: "We want to create the best possible conditions for growth in jobs, investment and living standards.

"We want to make this area an excellent location for business, prioritise and deliver a high quality infrastructure and raise skill levels."

A Combined Authority can be set up when two or more local authorities want to work more closely to support economic growth in areas such as skills, transport and investment.

LA7 is made up of seven councils - Durham County, Gateshead, Newcastle City, North Tyneside, Northumberland County, South Tyneside and Sunderland City.

Greater Manchester was the first in the country to develop a statutory Combined Authority in April 2011.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites