Budget included a £450 million Devolution Deal for Lincolnshire

Coun Jeff SummersCoun Jeff Summers
Coun Jeff Summers
Lincolnshire could have an elected mayor as early as next year as part of a £450 million devolution deal.

These plans were announced by chancellor George Osborne during his budget on Wednesday, March 16.

A Greater Lincolnshire combined authority will be created paving the way for substantial powers over transport, home building, skills and flood risk to be passed from central government to the region.

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It is claimed the plans could help boost the Greater Lincolnshire economy by £8billion creating 29,000 jobs and 100,000 homes.

The combined authority will receive £15million a year, for the next 30 years, which will be used for infrastructure projects to boost economic growth, and will have responsibility for a devolved and consolidated, multi-year local transport budget for the entire combined authority area.

The funding will only be for new responsibilities and will not affect the current budget proposals recently agreed by each council.

The combined authority will be made up of 10 councils across the county including West Lindsey District Council, North Lincolnshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, Lincolnshire County Council, City of Lincoln Council, North Kesteven District Council, South Kesteven District Council, East Lindsey District Council, Boston Borough Council and South Holland District Council and it will be covering an area of more than one million people.

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The Leader of West Lindsey District Council, Councillor Jeff Summers, said: “The Devolution Deal offered by the Government is very positive for West Lindsey and Greater Lincolnshire.

“All councils in Greater Lincolnshire will continue to exist in their current form but we are committed to establishing a combined authority.

“This will include a directly elected Mayor, to exercise the new powers. A strategy for Lincolnshire will be decided by the ten Council Leaders.

“This cements our relationship with central government and will support economic growth in Lincolnshire including 100,000 new homes by 2036 plus the infrastructure to enable and support that growth.

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“Individual Councils across Lincolnshire will be debating the proposals over the coming months, hopefully culminating in a unanimous vote to progress with this exciting project.

“Once the deal is finalised by the due process we will be continually looking to add further items to our devolution deal.

“A Deal will unlock the ability to make more decisions locally and thereby prioritise more government funding to meet local need.”

Each council needs to formally agree the deal following consultation with residents during the summer, but it could see residents voting for a mayor as early as 2017.

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North Lincolnshire council leader, Baroness Liz Redfern, who is also cabinet member for devolution, said: “This deal will put the ‘Great’ back into Lincolnshire, where all councils will work together to benefit the region.

“This means more business opportunities, more jobs, investment, new homes and so on.”

The Greater Lincolnshire bid also has the support of other public bodies such as the Local Enterprise Partnership and the police.