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Does Lancashire support a Combined Authority?

Posted on - 27th March, 2016 - 8:00am | Author - | Posted in - News, Politics, Preston Council
County Hall has voted on whether to back a Combined Authority Pic: Paul Melling

County Hall has voted on whether to back a Combined Authority Pic: Paul Melling

Just 24 elected representatives from Preston City Council and other district authorities bothered to fill in a survey about the future of a Combined Authority for Lancashire.

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Only one county councillor, the authority that was consulting on introducing the new combined authority – which they say is crucial to the future of Lancashire, took the time to fill in the survey.

1,944 responses were received to the externally operated survey which asked the people of Lancashire their views on a Combined Authority. More than 1.5m people live within the 14-authority areas of the county which were consulted so the survey represented 0.1% of the county’s population.

Lancashire County Council has hailed the survey a success with 70 per cent of the respondents saying they supported the Combined Authority proposal.

County councillors on Wednesday voted to accept the proposal and move to the next stage of submitting a formal plan to the government.

Jo Turton, chief executive of the county council, said: “Lancashire’s councils have been working towards setting up a Combined Authority for some time now and this decision was the next stage in that process.

“Residents and businesses responded very positively to the consultation earlier this year and county councillors have now given it their support. At a time when resources are tight and central government is keen to devolve power and funding to a more local level, this is another step towards councils working more closely together on the big strategic issues that affect us all.

“Not all councils have formally made their decision yet but if all goes well we could see a formal bid submitted in the next few months.”

Preston City Council has already indicated it backed a Combined Authority, with councillors voting in December last year to back the proposal.

Council leader Cllr Peter Rankin said: “A new approach is needed so that councils in Lancashire become more joined up and work together for the benefit of everyone in Lancashire.”

You can read the full results of the survey on the county council website.

How would a Combined Authority work?

– It would be a legal body which means councils can act as one authority in the best interests of Lancashire
– It would have an oversight of areas such as transport, housing and economic regeneration

What do you think about a Combined Authority? Do you support the idea? Let us know your views in the comments below

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