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Preston City Council to explore ‘bold ambition’ for combined authority for Lancashire

Posted on - 21st June, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Inside the Preston City Council chamber at the Town Hall Pic: GuildMerchant
Inside the Preston City Council chamber at the Town Hall Pic: GuildMerchant

Preston City Council has agreed with other Lancashire councils to explore the possibility of a combined authority.

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Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader of Preston City Council, attended a meeting of all Lancashire council leaders earlier this month, where a unanimous decision was taken for the councils to work together more closely.

A statement released following the meeting said: “All councils in Lancashire agree to continue to explore the possibility of working together with our local authority partners to investigate setting up a combined authority to embrace the county’s future economic opportunities.”

The agreement is the beginning of a process of negotiation to take advantage of powers and resources devolved from national government. Other examples of combined authorities include Greater Manchester Liverpool City Region and Sheffield City Region.

Councillor Matthew Brown
Councillor Matthew Brown believes a combined authority will lead to stronger communities

Councillor Brown said: “We have a bold ambition to deliver a better form of local government with improved powers from government and better funding to deliver much more for our residents.

“We are committed to working in partnership with authorities across Lancashire and together we will act as a catalyst for change.

“Our priority will always be building an inclusive economy where wealth is shared more evenly along with stronger communities, and we believe this is the correct path to achieving this aim.”

Read more: Preston City Council partners with Wirral and Liverpool to create community bank

Lancashire council leaders say that the delivery of local government functions may need to be simplified in the combined authority area. They have agreed to explore models of devolution and improved governance arrangements in the future.

The timeline for the combined authority will be agreed when the agreement of the devolution deal becomes clearer in the coming months.

County Councillor Geoff Driver, Leader of Lancashire County Council, stated: “The creation of a combined authority is a great opportunity for the whole of Lancashire. The principle has been positively endorsed by Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet.”

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

What do you think of the possibility of a combined authority for Lancashire? Let us know in the comments.

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