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.

By Faiza Afzaal
Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 4:55 am
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.

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.