Devolution bid backed by Ribble Valley Borough Council

A devolution deal for Lancashire has taken a step forward after Ribble Valley Borough Council gave the proposed scheme the thumbs-up.

RVBC leader Stephen Atkinson stated 'this deal is a win-win for everyone'
RVBC leader Stephen Atkinson stated 'this deal is a win-win for everyone'

Councillors gave the New Deal for a Greater Lancashire their unanimous backing at a full council meeting.

The scheme could unlock up to £5.6billion for Lancashire over the next seven years in the four key areas – the economy, transport, jobs and skills, and the environment – that the county’s 15 council leaders believe autonomy over funding and decision-making will have the most impact.

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And as well as giving Ribble Valley Borough Council an equal seat at Lancashire’s top table it will preserve the borough’s independence and much much-valued council services.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stephen Atkinson, who is also on the board of the Lancashire Economic Partnership, said: “Lancashire's council leaders have been working for several months on this proposal, which is a collaboration on a scale never seen before, sending out the strong message that we are united and unwilling to be left behind.

“With the Government’s levelling-up white paper on the horizon, the time is right for Lancashire to move forward with a collective voice to make the case for more powers and investment for the county.

“This deal is a win-win for everyone – the Government, Lancashire, its councils and its residents – drawing on our capacity and skills, and building on the successful partnership working created during the pandemic.

“It has the potential to transform Lancashire and make a positive long-lasting difference to the lives of our residents, and with a one-council one-vote structure it gives Ribble Valley an equal seat at the top table, while preserving the borough’s independence.”

The New Deal for a Greater Lancashire will be taken forward to Government, subject to getting the go-ahead from the county’s 15 councils over the coming days and weeks.