North East Combined Authority
The North East Combined Authority, abbreviated to NECA, is a combined authority in North East England created in 2014. It currently consists of the local authorities for Sunderland; Gateshead, South Tyneside; and most of County Durham. The local authorities for Newcastle upon Tyne; North Tyneside; and Northumberland were included in the combined authority until 2018, when they exited to create their own combined authority, the North of Tyne Combined Authority. For transport policy, the two combined authorities come together to form the North East Joint Transport Committee.
The North East Combined Authority was established in 2014 by statutory instrument under the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009. It is a strategic authority with powers over economic development and regeneration. At its first meeting on 15 April 2014, Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, was elected as its chair. The functions, property, rights and liabilities of the former Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority were inherited by the North East Combined Authority, forming an executive body within the new authority as the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive.
It was announced in October 2015 that the authority would receive an enhanced devolution settlement and elect a mayor in 2017. The plans were later cancelled by the Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid on 8 September 2016, after Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside, and Sunderland Councils withdrew their support. The current non-mayoral combined authority arrangements will continue.
In November 2018, Newcastle City Council, North Tyneside Borough Council, and Northumberland County Council left the North East Combined Authority and formed the new North of Tyne Combined Authority. For transport policy the two combined authorities come together to form the North East Joint Transport Committee.
The current area covers most of the historic county of County Durham. However the other unitary authorities in the county are not part of it. This means the Borough of Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees and Hartlepool are not part of the combined authority due to them being in the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
In order to create a combined authority, the local authorities in the proposed area must undertake a governance review and produce a scheme of their proposals.
The order which established the combined authority referred to it as the Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle Upon Tyne, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland Combined Authority, simply listing the names of the constituent councils in alphabetical order. The initial consultation used the name Durham, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear Combined Authority. The body uses the name North East Combined Authority or NECA. The board is known as the North East Leadership Board. The legal name of the authority was changed to Durham, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland Combined Authority in November 2018.
The membership of the combined authority is as follows:
The combined authority consists of the following authorities (2019 population estimates):