The Tees Valley Combined Authority (the TVCA/ the Combined Authority) was created under the following Orders:
- Tees Valley Combined Authority Order 2016 (the 2016 Order). This is the original order which establishes the TVCA and confers functions and powers to the TVCA in relation to transport and economic development and regeneration
- Tees Valley Combined Authority (Election of Mayor) Order 2016. This order states that a Mayor may be elected for the TVCA. The election was to be held on 4 May 2017 and subsequent elections shall take place in 2020 and every fourth year thereafter
- Tees Valley Combined Authority (Functions) Order 2017 (the First 2017 Order). This order allows the new Mayor to create new locally accountable development corporations. The functions conferred to the TVCA correspond to the functions that the Mayor of London has
- Tees Valley Combined Authority (Functions and Amendment) Order 2017 (the Second 2017 Order). This order makes provisions in relation to the new Mayor, it amends the transport functions exercisable by the TVCA and introduces the review of housing needs as a function of the TVCA.
There are five constituent councils: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, and Stockton-on-Tees (the CCs).
The Mayor is Ben Houchen, a conservative candidate, who was elected on 4 May 2017.
The functions provided to the TVCA relate to transport, economic development and regeneration, mayoral development areas and mayoral development corporations and reviewing housing need.
Article 6 of the 2016 Order delegates to the TVCA the functions of the CCs under Parts 4 and 5 of the Transport Act 1985 and the functions of the CCs as local transport authorities under Part 2 of the Transport Act 2000. This is later amended by the Second 2017 Order so that the functions set out are exercisable by the TVCA instead of the CCs rather than just being delegated functions.
The Second 2017 Order confers the functions under Section 8 of the Housing Act 1985 (periodical review of housing needs) to the TVCA, these are exercisable concurrently with the CCs.
Article 7 of the 2016 Order relates to economic development and regeneration functions and delegates the functions of the CCs under: Section 1 of the Localism Act 2011 that are exercisable for the purpose of economic development and regeneration; the power under Section 144 of the Local Government Act 1972 (the power to encourage visitors and provide conference and other facilities); the duties under Sections 15ZA, 15ZB, 15ZC, 17 and 18A(1)(b) of the Education Act 1996; the power under Sections 514A and 560A of that Act (duties and powers related to the provision of education and training or persons over compulsory school age); and the duty under Section 69 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 (duty to prepare an assessment of economic conditions).
The First 2017 Order provides that the Combined Authority will have in relation to its area functions akin to those of the Mayor of London in relation to mayoral development areas and mayoral development corporations set out in the Localism Act 2011 (sections 197, 199, 200, 202, 204, 214, 215, 216, 217, 219, 220, 221 Schedule 21 paras 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8).
Chapter 2 of Part 8 of the Localism Act 2011 applies to the TVCA as it applies to the Mayor of London and to a Corporation as it does to a mayoral development corporation.
The Second 2017 Order gives the TVCA the power to pay grant in accordance with Section 21 of the Local Government Act 2003.
Each CC must appointment a member and substitute member to be a member of the Combined Authority. If a member ceases to be a member of a CC or resigns, a replacement must be appointed and the TVCA must be given at least one week's and no more than one month's notice in writing.
The Mayor or Deputy Mayor and 3 members or substitute members must be present at a meeting for decisions to be made. Each member has one vote and decisions are made by a majority, but the majority must include the Mayor or Deputy Mayor. There is no casting vote and if the vote is tied the decision is not carried.
There are certain decisions which must be unanimous which are: the adoption of an investment plan, setting a transport levy under s74 Local Government and Finance Act 1988, and any plans and strategies determined by the TVCA and set out in its standing orders).
The local enterprise partnership (LEP) is also required to elect a member which must be appointed by the Combined Authority, however this is a non-voting role.
Powers of the Mayor
Only the Mayor may exercise the powers relating to: mayoral development areas and mayoral development corporations; the power to pay grant; sections 108 (local transport plans), 109 (further provisions about plans: England) and 112 (plans and strategies: supplementary) of the Transport Act 2000. However members and officers of the TVCA may assist the Mayor in the exercise of these functions.