Devolution deal for Lancashire could be back on the table

Talks are back on about a Lancashire devolution deal
Talks are back on about a Lancashire devolution deal

A pair of council leaders from Lancashire have said “progress” is being made toward an agreement on a county devolution deal.

Plans appeared to have stalled last year because of disagreements over whether the county should have a metro mayor.

But leaders are now said to be “back around the table” working on thrashing out a new model after Westminster said it was up to them to find a solution.

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Coun Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “It’s important we all work together to get the best deal for Lancashire.

“We’ve now got everyone around the table again and I’m hopeful we can make some real progress in the near future.”

Town hall leaders will meet again next month to continue the discussions.

Coun Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, who has been chairing the meetings, said: “We’ve been banging the drum over how important it is we all work together and I’m really pleased we are now starting to make progress.

“You only have to turn on the news to hear of the millions and millions of pounds which are being poured into areas such as Manchester and Merseyside and we need to be a part of that.

“It has been hard to get agreement among all of the councils, partly because the county is so diverse in its nature, but we’ve got to make sure we put our differences to one side to do what is best for our residents.”