Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham, today called on the Tees Valley Combined Authority to work with local MPs to fight for more further education and skills funding.
His plea came on the day that Parliament agreed to devolve more than £30 million a year in education budgets to the combined authority.
Alex, who sat on the committee which approved the delegation of funds, also called for the government to let the Tees Valley get on with the job without any further interference.
Speaking afterwards Alex said:
“It is great news that these funds have been devolved to the Combined Authority who better know the needs of our area.
“It does need to be clear that this is not a new pot of money – just a switch on who decides on what it is spent on. In fact, we have seen a considerable reduction in the funds available for further education and training over recent years and we will need to work hard together to win more resources if our Tees wide ambitions are to be realised.
“Now that we’ll have the budgets, we also need guarantees from Government that they won’t interfere any more in the way we deliver in the Tees Valley. We recently saw a Government driven review of colleges across the five authorities which turned out to be a complete and utter waste of time, resources and money.
“Our combined authority knows what’s best for the Tees Valley and having handed over the funds the Government needs to let them get on with it without further reviews and dictats.”