Tees Valley Combined Authority Cabinet
The Tees Valley Combined Authority Board is chaired by the Mayor of Tees Valley and is made up of representatives from the five Tees Valley Local Authorities and the chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership. Other members of the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership board are associate members of the combined authority.
Ben Houchen, Tees Valley Mayor and Chair of Tees Valley Combined Authority
Ben Houchen was the Conservative Group Leader for Stockton Borough Council where he represented the Yarm Ward since he was elected in 2011.
Ben is a solicitor by profession, and is the CEO of BLK, a sport clothing company based in Stockton. He has also worked for two Teesside law firms, in commercial litigation and employment law, since graduating in law at Northumbria University.
He grew up in Ingelby Barwick and attended Conyers School, Yarm.
Mayor David Budd, Mayor of Middlesbrough
Mayor Budd, who has lived in and worked around Middlesbrough his whole life and raised his family in the town, was elected as Middlesbrough’s second directly-elected Mayor in May 2015.
He worked as a local bank manager for many years, helping and supporting local businesses to start up and to grow. Representing Hemlington and later Ladgate ward, Dave Budd was first elected as a Councillor in 1991, serving as Executive Members for Regeneration and as Deputy Mayor before being elected as Mayor.
Cllr Christopher Akers-Belcher, Leader of Hartlepool Borough Council
Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher has more than 22 years of senior local government experience, having worked previously in finance, revenues and benefits as a local government officer at a number of North-East councils.
As well as being Hartlepool Council Leader he has a number of other Council roles, reflecting his breadth of experience, including Chair of the Council’s Finance and Policy Committee, Chair of the Safer Hartlepool Partnership, Chair of the Hartlepool Health and Wellbeing Board and Member of Leader and Mayors Group within the Local Enterprise Partnership.
Paul Booth OBE, Chair of Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership
Paul Booth worked in the chemical industry for over 40 years. Born on Teesside, he started his career as an apprentice with ICI and retired in 2016 as the Chairman of SABIC UK Petrochemicals as well as its European Director for Government Policy and Public Affairs.
He is a member of the CIA Council, ex-Chairman of the North East Process Industry Cluster, one of the industrialists on the new UK CGP, and a Board Member for Plastics Europe North.
He sits on the Board of Governors for Teesside University and was previously a member of Redcar and Cleveland Technical College, NSAPI (National Skills Academy) and the TTE Training School. Mr Booth also is Honorary President for SCI (Society of Chemical Industry) in the UK.
Cllr Bob Cook, Deputy Mayor of Tees Valley Combined Authority and Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council
Councillor Cook has been Leader of Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council since 2011 and was first elected as a councillor in 1987.
He currently represents the Norton South ward. Prior to becoming Council Leader, he was Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport.
Councillor Cook represents the Borough on a range of bodies including the Association of North East Councils, Local Government Association General Assembly, North East Purchasing Organisation and North East Regional Employers’ Organisation. He worked in the chemical industry for 31 years before taking up his current post of Agent/Office Manager for Stockton North MP, Alex Cunningham, in 2010.
Cllr Bill Dixon MBE, Leader of Darlington Borough Council
Bill Dixon has been a Darlington councillor since 1979 and was elected Leader of the Council in 2012.
He is Councillor for Eastbourne Ward. Prior to becoming Council Leader, Bill was Deputy Leader 1991-2011, Chair of Housing, Chair of Social Services and Vice Chair of Policy & Resources. Since 1997 Bill has been Vice Chair of Darlington Community Safety Partnership and Vice Chair of the Darlington Youth Offending Service. He represents the Borough on a range of bodies including the Tees Valley Unlimited Leadership Board, Local Government Association, Rail North, Distinct Darlington and Durham Tees Valley Airport Board.
Cllr Sue Jeffrey, Leader of Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council
Councillor Jeffrey has more than 25 years’ experience working in the public, private and third sectors at regional, local and national level. Until she took early retirement in 2009 she was Executive Director of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Assembly and also spent a year as Interim Chief Executive of the North East Regional Assembly.
She is a housing professional by trade and until September 2015 was Chair of Tees Valley Housing Ltd and a Board member of the Thirteen Housing Group.
In 2009 she was elected for Labour to Redcar and Cleveland Council in a by-election. She represents the South Bank Ward where she has lived for 35 years.
The members of the Local Enterprise Partnership are also associate members of the Cabinet.