Councils to join forces

Confident: Peter Rankin
Confident: Peter Rankin
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Lancashire will have a combined authority by the end of this year, according to the leader of Preston Council.

In the wake of a Lancashire Evening Post series looking at how the county can have its voice heard on the national stage, council chiefs are “confident” of a combined authority.

That is outlining, for example, the fact that each authority will have an equal weight

Coun Peter Rankin

Negotiations are ongoing around the idea of councils joining forces to demand more powers from government.

And Coun Peter Rankin says he is “confident” an agreement will be reached by the end of the year. He told the latest full council meeting that a report would soon be going to Lancashire leaders. He said: “That is outlining, for example, the fact that each authority will have an equal weight.”

Coun Rankin said more reports would follow, and added: “I am confident Lancashire will achieve a combined authority by the end of the year.

“To proceed, we’ll need the county council, the majority of districts and at least one unitary. We don’t need everybody, it would be wonderful if every authority in Lancashire decided to take part in this devolved power. It’s more like decentralisation than devolution, but we hope a combined authority will be in place to offer various opportunities to government, particularly on the economic side, and skills.”