Following his election as the first Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen today chaired his first official meeting of the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
The Authority’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) made more than 130 appointments to lead roles within the Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, with a further 80 business leaders coming forward to support the work to bring jobs and investment and grow the local economy.
The new appointments strengthen the partnerships between local councils, business and the voluntary sector, with individuals bringing expertise to deliver the new responsibilities secured through devolution, and to provide democratic scrutiny and oversee the governance of the new Authority.
Cllr Bob Cook, the leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, was confirmed as Deputy Mayor and Vice-Chair of the Combined Authority. Under the Combined Authority’s new constitution, the position of Deputy Mayor rotates annually between the five local Council Leaders. The Council Leaders were also appointed to individual Cabinet portfolios covering the Authority’s key responsibilities.
Mr Houchen said: “I would like to thank all of the councillors, business and voluntary sector representatives who have stepped forward to support the Tees Valley’s ambitions for the future. I look forward to working with them. We have taken control of our area with devolved powers and budgets from Westminster, the hard work starts here.
Recognising the contribution played by the out-going Chair, David Budd, Mr Houchen commented, “I would like to thank David Budd for his service in chairing the Combined Authority over the last year. His tenure as Chair covered a critical period, during the run-up to the Mayoral election, the launch of the Strategic Economic Plan, our new Constitution and an Investment Plan. I know he will continue to make a valuable contribution on the Combined Authority’s Cabinet.”
Taking up his appointment as Deputy Mayor, Bob Cook commented: “The Combined Authority builds on many years of effective partnership, and I am confident that this will continue to develop as we take forward our new devolved responsibilities. I am proud to take on the role of Deputy Mayor for the forthcoming year, and work to ensure effective collaboration between the Mayor, Council Leaders and our many other partners, as we deliver effectively on behalf of the people of the Tees Valley.”