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Lancashire County Council provides more information on potential restructure

Posted on - 14th September, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Lancashire County Council Hall
Lancashire County Council. Pic: Stephen McKay

The leader of Lancashire County Council has written to the Government to provide further details about a proposal to restructure local government in Lancashire.

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Councillor Geoff Driver CBE has submitted an outline business case, which would see the creation of three unitary authorities with a view to securing a mayoral combined Authority with additional powers and resources to be drawn down from government.

The idea was submitted to the Government in July, and since then work has taken place on the strategic case to provide more information about the proposal.

Cllr Driver is now requesting that Government officials enter into a dialogue about the plans at the earliest opportunity so a partnership can be created to develop and consult with all stakeholders on a full business case and timetable for implementation.

Geoff Driver retained his Preston North seat and is leader of the Lancashire Conservatives
Geoff Driver has written a letter to the Government

Under the plans three new unitary councils would be created to replace all 14 of the county’s current district, borough, and unitary councils as well as Lancashire County Council.

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

The proposed three unitary councils – Northwest Lancashire, Central Lancashire and East (‘Pennine’) Lancashire councils – would provide services for around 500,000 people each, with a mayor being in charge of a combined authority covering the whole county.

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Cllr Driver said: “I remain firmly of the view that to deliver on our ambitious recovery and levelling up plans, we need to transition to a three unitary and Mayoral Combined Authority model, replacing our complex arrangement of fifteen councils.

“The simplified structures we are proposing are vital to better joint working and stronger partnerships such as with local health organisations and the Local Enterprise Partnership.

“Closer working will allow for a coherent and strategic focus on delivering our significant ambitions including an £8bn development and infrastructure pipeline, improved quality and innovation in service delivery closer to communities and achieving significant efficiencies at scale and pace.

“The proposal also guards against fragmentation in key service areas such as Children’s and Adult Services.”

Read more: Lancashire benefits from a purpose-built flu vaccination centre

The Government has previously stated that handing back power to people and places across the North and the whole of England is a priority to it and its aim of levelling up prosperity and opportunity.

Read more: Latest news and updates from Blog Preston

What do you think about the proposed restructure? Let us know in the comments below.

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