Find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions here



What is Tees Valley?

Tees Valley describes the area covering Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees.

The five councils have been working in partnership for more than 20 years. People don’t generally describe themselves as being from “Tees Valley”, and the individual identities of the separate towns and communities remain important. But Tees Valley describes an area that works as a connected economic area. 90% of Tees Valley’s working population have jobs within the area, and 65,000 cross a council boundary to work. So communities across Tees Valley depend on the success of the area as a whole.

Why is it Tees Valley and not Teesside?

Teesside has an important heritage and identity, and this is not affected by the creation of the Tees Valley Combined Authority. Tees Valley goes wider than the traditional definition of Teesside, to include parts of Cleveland, Darlington and Hartlepool, and it’s therefore right to use a title which covers the whole area.

Is this area County Durham / North Yorkshire, not Tees Valley?

County Durham and North Yorkshire have proud identities, which are not affected by the creation of the Tees Valley Combined Authority. Tees Valley reflects the reality of economic connections, which create an area that includes parts of both historic counties.  It is right that we plan growth on the basis of the economic geography of our area, reflecting the reality of the way that communities on both sides of the Tees have developed their economies closely together.

What is the Tees Valley Combined Authority?

The Mayor chairs the Combined Authority, a body set up by law to lead the economic development of the Tees Valley area. We are a partnership of five authorities, working with the business community and other partners.

By setting up this new body, Tees Valley is able to deliver powers and responsibilities previously carried out by central Government. There are similar bodies in other areas of the country which have secured devolution, including Greater Manchester, Merseyside and the West Midlands, all of which also elected a mayor on 4th May 2017.

What is Devolution?

England is one of the most centralised countries in the developed world. Devolution is a process that transfers powers and funding from central Government to a local area.  It means decisions can be made closer to the people affected, involving them more directly.

What is the Tees Valley Devolution Deal?

Tees Valley signed a devolution deal with Government in October 2015. Under the terms of the deal, Tees Valley received more powers and funding. The Government only agreed to this if the Tees Valley elected a Mayor, to be publicly accountable for decisions.

Does this mean that the individual councils will merge?

No. Your local council is still responsible for delivering local services such as children’s services, social care, refuse collection, libraries, street cleaning, etc. The Combined Authority is focused on economic growth of the wider Tees Valley area. Our new powers come from central Government, not from the local councils.

Why do we have a Tees Valley Mayor?

Local council leaders negotiated a devolution deal with ministers to transfer powers, funding and responsibilities from central Government to our local area. The Government said that this would only be possible if an elected mayor became publicly accountable for decisions, working alongside the existing councils and other partners.

Is this just another layer of bureaucracy?

No, this is a transfer of decision making from London to Tees Valley. It means that more decisions can be made locally to achieve a better outcome for local people, and to seize opportunities in our local economy.

What is the role for the private sector?

The private sector plays a key role in the Tees Valley Combined Authority. The Chair of the Tees Valley Business Board, Siobhan McArdle, works closely with the Cabinet of the Tees Valley Combined Authority.

One of the key aims of the Combined Authority is driving economic growth and job creation, it is vital the private sector plays an active role.

How do private sector members influence the work of the Combined Authority?

Public and private sector representatives meet regularly to discuss policy, strategy and budgetary issues. Business leaders provide invaluable advice, direction and insight which helps to shape decisions made by elected leaders at Cabinet.


What is the Combined Authority’s commitment to increasing equality and diversity among its members?

The Combined Authority strives to ensure equality and diversity considerations are embedded into all of our decisions.

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