Join the devolution debate before it’s too late, urges leader of SKDC

Coun Bob Adams, Conservative leader of SKDC ENGEMN00120130424141642

Coun Bob Adams, Conservative leader of SKDC ENGEMN00120130424141642

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Have your say

The leader of the district council is urging people to join the debate on devolution for our county.

There are only 10 days remaining for people living and working in Greater Lincolnshire to have their say on proposals to create a mayoral combined authority with a directly elected mayor for the area. The consultation will close on August 8 at 5pm.

Councillor Bob Adams, leader of South Kesteven District Council, says it is vitally important that people have a say on their future.

Coun Adams, councillor for the Isaac Newton ward in Grantham, said: “I would encourage everyone to express their views in the consultation process. They need to give a clear indiaction whether or not they support the principal of a directly elected mayor. The imprtant thing is that people express their views so that we can determine what might be the best outcome for the future.”

Ten local authorities, from the Humber to the Wash, have joined together to ask for some powers, responsibilities and funding from government to be devolved to Greater Lincolnshire, meaning more decisions on public services – including transport and housing – would be made locally, rather than at a national level.

If all 10 councils sign up to this, a mayoral combined authority would be established. This would be made up of elected councillors from the 10 councils and a representative from the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, and chaired by the directly elected mayor, chosen by Greater Lincolnshire residents.

The combined authority would not replace existing councils or affect the services they already provide. It would only be responsible for the new powers and funding devolved from central government, which include transport, housing, skills-training and flood risk management.

Under the deal, an additional £450 million over the next 30 years (£15 million per year) would be provided for investment in housing and infrastructure. It could also help to develop a better approach to skills training provision and criminal justice services in the area.

The consultation also seeks views on whether, if a mayoral combined authority was established, the public would want to see the role of mayor combined with that of police and crime commissioner if it reduced administrative costs.

For the roles to be combined there would need to be a change made by Government to the police and crime commissioner boundaries, as currently the Greater Lincolnshire area is served by both the Lincolnshire and Humberside commissioners.

To have your say on a mayoral combined authority for Greater Lincolnshire visit www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/greaterlincs or pick up a consultation form and read the supporting information at the SKDC offices or Grantham Library, in the Isaac Newton Shopping Centre. Frequently asked questions, along with other useful information, are available online.

Responses will be reviewed before each council will then have to formally agree the deal later this year.