Greater Lincolnshire Devolution funding and decision-making powers welcomed

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North Kesteven District Council has backed the devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire, welcoming the opportunities it represents for skills, jobs and investment both for the district and the wider area.

An agreement has been proposed which will see the Government pledge an additional level of investment worth £720m over 30 years and hand down various powers to enable local determination on how and where that is spent across a number of themes including climate action, economic opportunity, transport infrastructure skills and adult education – within the area of Greater Lincolnshire, from the Humber to the Wash.

It has already been agreed that £2.2million of an additional £28.4m targeted on projects will be allocated to Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park to accelerate delivery of phase two of the project, which could create and/or safeguard 450-500 jobs.

The Lincolnshire County, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire councils – which are the main partners forming a new Mayoral Combined County Authority operating additionally to all of the existing and ongoing council structures – have already approved the principles of the Greater Lincolnshire Devolution.

Through a majority decision, councillors at North Kesteven District Council have now agreed to ‘continue to engage positively with the implementation of the devolution arrangements, based on delivery of Greater Lincolnshire Vision for 2050 and those benefits that will come to the area through Devolution.’

A consultation is currently underway, with a roadshow of drop-in engagement scheduled throughout January, including January 10 in Sleaford at the Source on Southgate; and Lincoln’s Showroom on Tritton Road on January 25, both 3pn to 7pm. Information and consultation details can be found on the Lincolnshire County Council website.

In the Council’s formal response, Council Leader Cllr Richard Wright will focus on:

  • Welcoming the alignment of the devolution proposal with the Greater Lincolnshire Vision for 2050, a ‘flourishing future for all’ and indeed North Kesteven’s own corporate priorities and vision of ‘A District of Flourishing Communities’; 
  • Welcoming the focus on employment, skills, economic development, the environment, homes, communities and transport;
  • Welcoming the establishment of partnership governance via a new Mayoral Combined County Authority, recognising that this is the government’s mechanism for devolution of powers and resources to local areas.

Whilst acknowledging differences of opinion on whether the devolution deal offered enough money, the necessity of a directly elected mayor and other details, Cllr Wright said it was the only deal on offer and encouraged everyone to familiarise themselves with the potential benefits and engage in the process.

“We can all say what we don’t like and what we would like to be done better, but the reality is – one way or another – that devolution is happening and I suggest that we should all be looking at what betterment this brings.”

“There was a missed opportunity several years ago and so this, now, is the only opportunity to bring this level of investment and a different kind of decision making into Lincolnshire to make sure the area gets the kind of investment and attention from central government that it deserves; that its not had for so long,” he said.

He said: “We now need to make sure we use the funding that comes through this deal to deliver on projects we believe Lincolnshire needs, to work with the mayor and mayoral authority partners to make sure, between us, that we produce the best plans for Lincolnshire and demonstrate to government that we can work collectively together to deliver on broad projects for Lincolnshire; investing in big ideas and infrastructure for the betterment of Greater Lincolnshire as a whole, without being parochial about it.”

As it is mapped out, all seven district councils will form a joint committee as a forum for informing and scrutinising the actions of the mayoral body, from which four of the seven council leaders will ensure collective representation and make the case for additional funding for projects that may be locally specific or of broad benefit.

“The devolution proposal does not introduce risk to delivery of North Kesteven services, does not introduce any legislative, regulatory or reporting requirements that impact delivery of those services, or threaten the future of North Kesteven District Council. But what it does do, is present new opportunities to accelerate delivery of the Council’s vision and priorities for the District,” said Cllr Wright.

“I urge people to engage with and respond to the consultation, to understand what this brings to Lincolnshire and what further opportunities may follow on from this initial deal if we can prove to government that we can make this work.”

Video | Devolution Deal for Greater Lincolnshire YouTube

A video of Councillor Wright explaining more about the Devolution deal

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text | Devolution Embed Context

A video of Councillor Wright explaining more about the Devolution deal.

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