Devolution for Lancashire '˜on back burner'

Hopes of securing devolved powers for Lancashire look set to be put on the back burner for the timebeing.

Friday, 24th March 2017, 6:59 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:07 am
Coun Simon Blackburn

It had been hoped to to create a countywide combined authority by this spring, but the Government has not responded to requests to move forward with the proposals.

Following a meeting of the Shadow Lancashire Combined Authority on Wednesday, it has been decided to put the plans on hold until after the Lancashire County Council elections in May.

Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn, who chairs the shadow authority, said: “I remain hopeful we will get a positive response from the Government on this. However I think it is important we are realistic.

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“My instincts tell me the Prime Minister, and the Government, has gone cold on the idea of combined authorities and devolution.”

He added that although nothing had been officially confirmed on the future of the combined authority, it had been agreed to hold off for the time being.

But he said the 14 councils which made up the combined authority would continue to work together.

For the past two years, 14 of the 15 councils which make up Lancashire have been meeting with a view to setting up a combined authority.