Within the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement today (Wednesday, November 22) there was the announcement of a proposed agreement for a devolution deal between the Government and the local authorities of Lincolnshire County Council, North Lincolnshire Council and North East Lincolnshire Council – the area known as Greater Lincolnshire.
The Government says it is a ’historic deal’ marking ‘a new devolution agreement’ that ‘will see the creation of the Greater Lincolnshire Mayoral Combined County Authority (MCCA), alongside a directly elected mayor for the area. The aim is for the first mayoral election to be held in May 2025.
In its statement the Government says the devolution deal transfers new powers and funding to the Greater Lincolnshire MCCA, alongside a £720 million long-term investment fund to drive economic growth and take forward local priorities. Alongside this, the deal also includes £8.6 million of investment in brownfield funding, devolution of the Adult Education Budget, and £20 million of capital funding in advance of the inaugural election to drive place-based economic regeneration in Greater Lincolnshire (subject to business cases). You can find the statement on the GOV.UK website.
This agreement is subject to ratification by those councils, and to the statutory requirements for making the secondary legislation implementing the provisions of the deal. These statutory requirements include those councils consenting to the legislation and Parliament approving it. Once that legislation is made the devolution deal will be confirmed.
North Kesteven District Council is part of the partnership of ten councils and organisations involved in shaping this deal. In response, Chief Executive Ian Fytche said:
“A Devolution Deal for Greater Lincolnshire is a very welcome development, focused on delivering our shared ambition for Greater Lincolnshire.
“There has been a great deal of discussion on a potential devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire for a number of years now, the principles of which we feel be of significant benefit to all parts of Greater Lincolnshire, including the residents and businesses of North Kesteven.
“The ten councils and partners have worked collectively to develop a vision for Greater Lincolnshire for 2050, the priorities of which are closely aligned to our own strategic objectives within the NK Plan, promoting a flourishing future for all, backed by climate action, inclusive economic development and the health and wellbeing of communities.
“In taking advantages of the opportunities represented by these devolution arrangements, we will see investments in public transport; jobs, skills and access to employment; income and financial security; and, importantly for North Kesteven in particular, transition to net zero and improvements for water management.
“From what we have already seen of the proposals, there is a welcome clarity in the nature of a combined authority to oversee the strategic direction and allocation of an initial £28m, a further £24m in additional investment each year over a 30-year period, and other initiatives geared towards adult education, skills and economic growth.
“Our own Council Members will get the opportunity to reflect on the deal at Full Council on December 14, exploring the next steps and opportunities.
"It will create an opportunity for the Full Council to reflect upon the benefits the deal represents for North Kesteven, for Lincolnshire, and for the wider sub-region and express an enthusiasm for working with everyone to take the plan forward.”
You can find out more information on the Lincolnshire County Council website.