North Tyneside Local Plan Consultation

Following a previous round of consultation in 2013, North Tyneside Council is consulting on the latest version of their Local Plan.

This a hugely important document that will shape the long term planning environment in the borough. The latest version reflects the feedback received in 2013 and contains updated evidence about the future demand for jobs and homes in North Tyneside.

Further information is available here. NECC will be submitting a response to the consultation on behalf of members. If you would like to help shape this response, leave a comment below or contact jonathan.walker@necc.co.uk

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Posted in North Tyneside Planning by jonathan.walker. No Comments

British Chambers of Commerce conference

NECC yesterday attended the British Chambers of Commerce conference, which was addressed by a series of leading politicians.

Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech in which he called on businesses to increase pay for staff. He also announced an aim for local authorities to retain two-thirds of business rates in the next Parliament and a new ‘Help to Grow’ scheme to guarantee loans for high growth businesses. Leader of the House William Hague spoke in a debate on devolution, focusing on the ‘English votes for English laws’ issue as well as opportunities for city deals.

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls‘ speech promised a swift decision on airport capacity and focused heavily on the dangers of leaving the EU. Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna set out a strongly pro-business position, stating business growth was essential to deliver a fair society. He covered proposals to strengthen apprenticeships and export support, and committed to retain LEPs – though with possible reforms to powers and budgets.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg stressed the need for stable government, and spoke of an aim to increase opportunities for women, aiming for one million more in work by the end of the next Parliament. Business Secretary Vince Cable discussed finance, including the future of the Business Bank and issues of late payment.

Other speakers included BT’s Danny Longbottom, who covered innovation and digital infrastructure, and Heathrow Airport’s John Holland-Kaye, who set out the case for expansion.

Please give your view by leaving a comment on this blog or emailing ross.smith@necc.co.uk.

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Sunderland City Council Budget

NECC members met with Sunderland City Council to discuss the Local Authority’s budget and priorities for 2015/16. The Council continues to face significant financial pressures due to Government grant changes of £25.7m, coupled with further cost pressures equating to £10.9m.

These pressures mean that further savings will need to be found from back office efficiencies and changes, alongside increased income generation and changes to front line services. Despite this, the Council remains committed to a major capital programme which will regenerate key development sites across the city and improve infrastructure.

Members were sympathetic towards the gravity of the financial challenges and praised the Council for the way spending reductions have been managed so far, particularly in relation to community assets and facilities. There were also discussions about the need to improve integration between the Council and health services, as well as proposed timetables for key developments in the city centre.

NECC meets regularly with all local authorities in the North East to raise issues on behalf of members. To find out more about this work, contact jonathan.walker@necc.co.uk

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Posted in Sunderland by jonathan.walker. No Comments

NECC work with North East Procurement Organisation

NECC Director of Policy Ross Smith has agreed to chair the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) Stakeholder Group. NECC and its members have worked with NEPO - the collaborative procurement network for local authorities in the North East – over several years to improve public procurement in the region. NECC will aim to use this new arrangement to ensure the views of suppliers are better reflected and that public procurement makes the maximum contribution to economic development in the North East.

NECC will be aiming to create opportunities throughout the year for businesses to directly influence procurement policy and processes, particularly through our Buy North East Steering Group – a body of members that oversees our campaign on public procurement. More information on NEPO, which has recently come under the management of the Association of North East Councils, can be seen here.

To give your view, or for information on getting involved with Buy North East, please leave a comment on this blog or email ross.smith@necc.co.uk.

 

 

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Posted in Buy North East by ross.smith. No Comments

Vince Cable Industrial Strategy Event

NECC attended an Industrial Strategy event at The House of commons this week along with Partner member John N Dunn. The event was hosted by the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable and co-hosted by Siemens UK Chief Executive Jurgen Maier.

Both were at pains to point out the value of building on important work carried out in recent years, for example the evolution of the Catapult system. Another focus was the role that such facilities can have in enhancing UK competitiveness, drawing on innovation to improve our ways of doing business – not least of all costs.

NECC is currently working with Partners to explore how this is happening in the North East and how we can grow this further.

For further information about any of the above please contact mark.stephenson@necc.co.uk

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Posted in Economy Innovation Regional policy by mark.stephenson. No Comments