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Daily urges readers to back £1.4bn deal for region

A daily newspaper has backed a new Government devolution deal for the region it serves.

Newcastle-based daily the Journal has lent its support for the £1.4bn deal, urging readers to give their consent to the plan in order to “close the great divide”.

The plan will mean more money and powers over skills, transport and housing will be devolved to local leaders in the North-East of England.

Subject to local consultation, it will also lead to the creation of a directly-elected mayor to serve Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside, Sunderland, and County Durham if approved.

Journal devo

The Journal splashed on the deal’s announcement last Wednesday.

In an accompanying editorial, it said: “We live in a part of the country with so much going for it: dynamic cities, wonderful countryside and friendly people.

“But we also have scandalous rates of child poverty, some of the highest unemployment in the UK and some of the country’s lowest educational and health outcomes.

“And therein lies the challenges for our politicians: making the most of what is special in the North-East but being ruthlessly focused on where we fall short. Devolution allows us to start making those choices for ourselves.”