Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has urged people in the Tees Valley to make sure they are registered to vote, with only one month to go until mayoral elections.
In just one month there will be a huge shift in the way the Tees Valley is run.
On Thursday 4 May, local people across Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees, will have the power to vote for a brand new Combined Authority Mayor to take control of the region.
It forms part of a ground-breaking devolution deal for the Tees Valley, through which Whitehall is handing powers to the local area to create jobs, improve skills levels, build homes and improve transport.
The powers will be held by a directly-elected mayor who, like the Mayor of London, will be able to represent the region on the international stage.
Eligible voters have until 13 April to register to vote, to enable them to cast their ballot in a month’s time.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said:
“It’s one month to go until residents in the Tees Valley have an historic opportunity to shape how the area is run and vote for the region’s first directly-elected mayor.
“But this is not just about voting for another politician – they’re voting to take control of issues that matter to them, whether that’s housing or transport, skills provision or new jobs
“So my message to people in the Tees Valley is simple: check you’re registered to vote, so you can have your say on 4 May.”
Devolution spreads to the Tees Valley
Devolution deals are putting power in the hands of local people. They help communities take control of decisions that matter to them, with Combined Authority Mayors who will be accountable to the people they serve.
So far the Government has agreed ground-breaking devolution deals across the country and on 4 May there will be elections for new Mayors across the country, in Liverpool City Region, Greater Manchester, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, West of England, West Midlands and Tees Valley.
Each Mayor will:
- have control over new long-term budgets from central government;
- exercise powers to control local roads, transport investment, strategic planning, improve skills and build new homes;
- lobby on behalf of their area, on the issues that matter to local people not only in Westminster, but on the world stage;
- work with local business leaders to achieve what’s best for local jobs and the economy; and
- capitalise on local strengths and assets like our universities, scientific research and innovation.
Elections will take place on 4 May, with the new Mayor expected to take their seat by 8 May. Residents eligible to vote can register to do so here.
The new Mayor for the Tees Valley will have a range of powers, including:
- control of a new £15 million a year funding allocation over 30 years;
- supporting more young people to gain the skills required to progress into work;
- extending high speed broadband; and
- supporting growth sectors of the economy to generate more jobs.