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Devolution agreement another raw deal for Teesside

Responding to the announcement today of the Tees Valley Devolution Deal, Labour MP for Redcar Anna Turley said:

“The deal on the table today from the government is quite frankly, an insult, after their failure to support our steel industry and their ever decreasing support package for the workforce which has still not materialised.

More powers and funding to allow Teesside to drive forward the local economy is a good thing but this is drop in the ocean. The support we really needed was intervention to save the steel industry and the thousands of jobs and businesses dependent on it. Government ministers travelling up to talk about growth and regeneration after allowing the local economy and community to suffer such a huge blow, costing thousands of jobs, is shameful.

The announced £450 million investment funding is really £15 million a year over a period of 30 years which is just a fraction of what is needed to make up for past and future cuts to local council budgets. Recent experience with the SSI support package makes me wonder whether we will see this money at all.

It is also disappointing to see nothing on apprenticeships which would have allowed Teesside to support the aspirations of our young people and develop the skills needed for local growth industries. The promised powers over bus services, which is a big issue for my constituents, is also fairly vague and reliant on new legislation that is not yet in the parliamentary timetable.

On our steelworks and now devolution, Teesside has been given a raw deal. It is yet more proof that the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ is a scam, promising the world but delivering very little.”

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