Combined Authority for Lancashire
Decision Maker: Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley, presented the report of the Deputy Chief Executive which sets out an update on discussions about a combined authority for Lancashire.
The government has strongly indicated that it will direct additional funding and additional powers into local areas through combined authorities. Therefore, without a combined authority, Lancashire over time is likely to suffer in terms of the ability to access funding and drive economic growth combined to neighbouring areas such as Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region.
Following discussions at the Lancashire Leaders group, councils have been asked to confirm their position and whether they support the creation of a combined authority.
The government has made clear that they plan on introducing a new White Paper on devolution and local recovery in the autumn, and that it expects that it will include the creation of more unitary authorities, but there are no firm proposals for unitary authorities at this stage.
Members expressed their views on the proposal, including
· concerns regarding accountability,
· the different demographics of the communities within Lancashire,
· the benefits of additional resources via a Combined Authority,
· the need to progress plans, rather than risk having a solution imposed,
· the need to await the contents of the White Paper.
The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley proposed and the Deputy Leader, Councillor Peter Wilson seconded the majority Decision
1. That the council confirms in principle to becoming a constituent authority of a Lancashire Combined Authority, subject to its final agreement to the final arrangements.
2. That the council confirms its willingness to the inclusion of a directly elected mayor in a devolution deal for Lancashire, subject to its final agreement to the final arrangements.
3. That the council reaffirms its view that local government reorganisation is needed to create sustainable public services and best serve the residents of the borough.
Report author: Chris Sinnott
Publication date: 31/01/2021
Date of decision: 21/07/2020
Decided at meeting: 21/07/2020 - Council