Leaders agree to explore new combined authority

17 Jun 2020 10:33
Published by: Scott Callan


Lancashire’s council leaders have ‘agreed in principle’ to explore a combined authority.

A unanimous decision has been taken for the councils to work together more closely to improve the economy of the county, addressing issues such as transport and inward investment.

At the meeting of Lancashire council leaders, it was agreed that: “All councils in Lancashire agree to continue to explore the possibility of working together with our local authority partners to investigate setting up a combined authority to embrace the county’s future economic opportunities.”

The agreement needs to be ratified by each of the councils represented and will be subject to local democratic processes.

Other areas of the UK which have set up a combined authority have seen a boost to investment in the economy, infrastructure and skills.

Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, stated: "The creation of a combined authority is a great opportunity for the whole of Lancashire. The principle has been positively endorsed by Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet."

Council leaders acknowledged that the delivery of local government functions may need to be simplified in the combined authority area. They have agreed to explore models of devolution and improved governance arrangements in the future.

Councillor Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Borough Council, and chair of the District Leaders Forum, said: "Councils in Lancashire are keen to work together for the benefit of all our residents and businesses across Lancashire.

“The interest in a combined authority for Lancashire stems from the ability to access greater government funding to assist the growth of businesses and stimulate the economy.”


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