Voters across the region are set to go to the election booths today to choose the first ever Tees Valley Mayor – but face a smaller choice than voters in other regions.
The four candidates standing in the Tees Valley election are Ben Houchen (Conservative Party), Sue Jeffrey (Labour Party), Chris Foote-Wood (Liberal Democrats) and John Tennant (UKIP), whilst John Tait (North East Party) withdrew after failing to raise the required £5,000 deposit to stand.
Houchen is Conservative group leader for Stockton Borough Council, while Jeffrey is Redcar and Cleveland Council leader. Foote-Wood is a former leader of Wear Valley District Council, while Tennant is UKIP group leader on Hartlepool Borough Council.
Local authorities included in the mayoral region are Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-On-Tees and Darlington.
The Tees Valley is one of six regions of England holding elections for newly created combined authority mayors.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough voters can choose between seven candidates today, while there are eight candidates in both Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region. There are six candidates for the West Midlands Region, and another six for West of England.
These new mayors’ remits will cover multiple local authorities, in mostly urban areas.
Their main responsibility will be to decide their region’s economic strategy, while they will have powers covering other areas such as transport and housing. However, their exact powers will vary according to the terms of the agreements each region has made with the government.