THE leader of Sunderland City Council will pitch the case for giving greater financial power to the regions to an influential committee of MPs today.
Coun Paul Watson will highlight the challenges the North East faces in being caught between an increasingly independent Scotland and the flourishing South to the Communities and Local Government Committee when it visits Manchester as part of its inquiry into fiscal devolution for cities and city regions.
As well as Coun Watson, the committee will hear from representatives of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Staffordshire County Council and Leeds City Council.
Chairman Clive Betts MP said: “In written evidence to us Sunderland City Council has claimed that without fiscal devolution it risks being squeezed between an increasingly independent Scotland and prosperous South East. Monday’s evidence session will allow us to explore this issue further. The visit will also allow us to see if there are lessons to be learned from the experience of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority about how councils in devolved areas can work together constructively to govern a devolved city region.
Today’s hearing will mark the second time in as many months that Coun Watson has met with representatives from Westminster to pitch the case for giving Sunderland greater powers.