Devolved powers could lead to better deal for residents

West Lindsey Offices EMN-150721-151659001
West Lindsey Offices EMN-150721-151659001
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Councillors in West Lindsey are being urged to explore devolution in Greater Lincolnshire to drive growth and investment.

Transferring or delegating powers from central government to local authorities could help the area get a better deal for its residents and businesses, says WLDC leader Jeff Summers.

Coun Summers explained Lincolnshire County Council was no longer pursuing a unitary authority but that talks had started with county, districts and the South Humber unitary authorities to explore other options.

He said: “We recognise there is a need for growth and investment in the district, but we cannot do this alone.

“We need to focus on what would benefit Greater Lincolnshire’s residents and businesses and build a collective voice and relationship across all councils.

“We need to work with each other to establish strong relationships and a collective ambition for devolution to be viable.

“I feel we are best placed to shape those decisions, but we need to act now and put forward our business case.”

The council will be asked to set aside £100,000 of its budget to work with partners to develop this as well as allocating officer and political resources.

WLDC chief executive Manjeet Gill is calling on councillors to consider developing a shared vision and business case.

She said: “This is our opportunity to focus on getting the right ‘deal’ for Greater Lincolnshire in terms of health, policing and economic prosperity.

“We are already working closely together as part of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership (GLLEP) for the benefit of residents and businesses and we need to expand on this further.

“Devolution would focus on further collaboration and collective leadership based on a credible business 
case.”

Local authorities are encouraged to develop local deals, following the success of the Greater Manchester 
Deal.

Other areas are now following suit in Nottinghamshire, Cambridgeshire and Derbyshire.