I am in a joint NECA/North of Tyne scrutiny Committee meeting looking at the region's response to covid and how we deal with the government. Most of what has been discussed is about what has happened at a regional level. Indeed, most of the work done to tackle covid has taken place jointly across the 2 combined authorities. This rather begs the question, what is the point of having 2 separate authorities when the region is the natural area for carrying out governance? I did raise precisely this point in the meeting. We know the reason however. Labour fell apart over devolution in the North East. That's why it's a dog's breakfast.