Pendle gives green light to unite for a 'Greater Lancashire'
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Councillors gave the green light to countywide ambitions for devolution which have the potential to bring £5.6 billion of investment into Lancashire over a seven year period.
Council leader, Coun. Nadeem Ahmed, has been working alongside council leaders across Lancashire following the Government’s announcement in July 2021 on County Deals which would transfer powers from Whitehall to local areas as part of levelling up.
“I am delighted that all Pendle Councillors are backing our ambitious vision called Lancashire 2050," he said.
“It has the potential to positively transform Lancashire and radically improve the lives of people in our area over the next 20 to 30 years. The time is right for us to move forward together to make the case for more powers and investment for the whole of our county.
“If all 15 councils in Lancashire agree in the coming days, we will have taken a huge step forward in a New Deal - focusing on the economy, transport, jobs, skills and the environment,” he added.
If agreed, the proposals will be sent to the Government which is due to announce its much anticipated Levelling Up White Paper. Lancashire County Council also endorsed the devolution proposals at a special meeting of the Council on January 24th.
County Council leader, Coun. Philippa Williamson said: “This is a collaboration on a scale that Lancashire has never seen before. It sends out the strong message that we are united.
“We have a clear and ambitious vision to secure additional powers, decision-making and significant additional funding which has the potential to transform our county and make a huge difference to the lives of all our residents.”
The plans include:
· Strengthening and diversifying our economy with a focus on maximising manufacturing including aerospace industries and low carbon innovations - with a request to Government for £200m. per year
· Tackling climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through combating flooding and improving housing to improve energy efficiencies and address poor quality housing and fuel poverty - with a request to Government for £200m. per year
· Improving transport connectivity along the east-west corridor and investment in active travel including public transport, cycling and walking with a request to Government for £150 million per year.
If plans are given the green light across Lancashire and get Government approval under the new County Deal initiative, each council will be represented on the decision making board by their leader.
And the principle for proposals brought forward under a New Deal for Greater Lancashire is one council, one vote - with a two thirds majority required for proposals to get the go ahead.