Lincolnshire council leaders ‘urgent’ call for devolution deal
Council leaders from across Lincolnshire have issued an invite to Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove to meet with them to discuss their 10-point-plan for devolution.
Yesterday, the Levelling Up white paper which sets out the governments strategy way released.
However, Lincolnshire council leaders were left “surprised” that they had not been included in the initial meeting for a devolution deal.
The strategy, unveiled by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, includes the creation of more elected leaders – like those in Birmingham or Manchester – and aims to improve services such as education, broadband and transport.
According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Lincolnshire was not among the first tranche of places where the government hopes to agree deals by the autumn.
The leaders did welcome the announcement of the white paper however, praising the goal to close the gap between the rich and poor of the country.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “This further commitment to levelling up is another example of Government backing plans across the country to drive prosperity. We will, with Government, build on the announcement today to deliver on our plans which will enable businesses from the Humber throughout Lincolnshire to unleash their potential. It is an exciting time and together greater Lincolnshire will thrive.”
Cllr Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “Although we’re surprised that we have not been included in the initial areas for county deals, the white paper is a really positive step. Our draft proposal was a great start and we’re now ready to take this forward in Lincolnshire with our ten-point plan. This is an opportunity to address historical underfunding of our area. We’ll be inviting the government to work with us to secure a county deal that brings us new powers and helps our area meet its potential.”
Cllr Philip Jackson, Leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “Our joint work from the Humber to the Wash has some clear outcomes to target investment where it’s most needed, and we know we’re best-placed locally to take on new responsibilities and funding. Working together and speaking loudly and clearly for our area will be the best way to achieve this.”
Greater Lincolnshire’s ten-point plan for devolution
Deliver infrastructure for:
- Strategic growth and jobs in key sectors
- Green recovery and a low carbon Lincolnshire
- Transport that connects people to jobs and places
- Unlocking housing and sustainable growth
- Managing our unique rural environment
Develop skills and opportunity by:
- Skills culture that promotes aspiration across Lincolnshire
- Growing skills needed for future jobs in key sectors
- Creating pathways and apprenticeships into new jobs
- Increasing employment opportunities and productivity
- Accelerating innovation, research and technology