Council backs devolution

NKDC offices, Sleaford.
NKDC offices, Sleaford.

Councillors in North Kesteven have approved moves that could lead to more powers and funds locally for Greater Lincolnshire.

In response to a Government invitation for local areas to take on more responsibility in steering economic growth, Lincolnshire’s councils have made a joint bid for devolved powers and funds and are now agreed on setting up a joint committee of all ten leaders of all district, county and unitary authorities from the Humber to the Wash.

The Greater Lincolnshire Leadership Board will be established in readiness for taking on any new responsibilities, most likely in 2017, considering joint initiatives of strategic and overarching importance.

In their debate before the Christmas holidays, North Kesteven District Councillors agreed it was the only course of action to avoid Lincolnshire falling backwards.

North Kesteven Council Leader Coun Marion Brighton said: “Local decision-making over where and how economic, social, health and transport enhancements should be targeted, by people who know the local circumstances intimately is the most effective model.”

Ongoing negotiations with civil servants are in anticipation of a Government decision to offer a package of powers and funds direct to Lincolnshire.

They will now begin considering how a new ‘combined authority’ tasked with moving forward initiatives around growth, skills development, transport improvements, public protection, health and housing would sit alongside the existing councils, bringing decision-making and delivery closer to home.