Voters should be given a say on North East devolution

When asked about the North East devolution deals that will be implemented today, UKIP North East MEP Jonathan Arnott commented “I have mixed feelings about the deals being signed today. On the one hand, I want more power to come down from central government to the local area.  But on the other, I have serious reservations about this deal.  Will local Council leaders unite to veto any proposals they dislike which come from the Mayor?

In Tees Valley, I doubt that redistributing £15 million a year of taxpayers’ money will make much of a difference. In the North East authority, I suspect rural areas will miss out badly in an authority dominated by the big cities.I don’t see that the power to increase taxes is especially useful at a time when hard-working families are already struggling to make ends meet.  The bottom line is that people should be given a say, in May 2016 to coincide with local elections where they have them, to vote yes or no to this deal. That would be democracy.”

UKIP Councillor Steve Turner added, “£15 million a year is a drop in the ocean compared to what we will need to rebuild after the loss of SSI and the consequent knock-on effect on our local economy.  I’ve spoken with colleagues on Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council to question why the people of Teesside haven’t been asked whether they approve of this.
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