The leader of Lincolnshire County Council has responded to comments made by a Government Minister after the authority backed out of a proposed devolution deal.
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said it was “disappointing” that the councils have voted against implementing the pro-growth devolution deal, which he said would have brought real benefits to the area including:
* New funding of £450million - £15m per year for 30 years
* Multi-year transport budget
* Devolved skills funding
* Increased control over employment support
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said: “It is disappointing that Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council have decided not to proceed with their proposed devolution deal.
“Local people in Greater Lincolnshire will now no longer benefit from £450 million of new funding and extra powers.
“This government remains 100% committed to devolution but we respect this local decision.”
Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Cllr Martin Hill, said this morning: “Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State, has now responded to my letter informing him that the county council, as well as South Kesteven District Council, are not intending to participate in the devolution scheme.
“It appears the government are not going to get back to us with a final order. However, they have confirmed that the Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Deal is now off the table.
“Following public consultation across Greater Lincolnshire, it became clear that while many favoured devolution, there was little appetite for an elected mayor.
“So, in common with many other councils across the country, South Kesteven and Lincolnshire County Council have decided that this deal was not appropriate for our county.
“I would also like to say that the 30 year promise of £450m is not a realistic projection. The more achievable figure would have been an extra £15m per year (less the cost of a mayoral authority) and that would have only been guaranteed for the next 4 years.
“So, while we welcome the government’s intent to hand down powers to local areas, the reality fell some way short of genuine devolution.
“As always we will continue to work with government and Lincolnshire councils for the benefit of local people, and would like to thank the Secretary of State and his predecessor for their advice and support in this issue.”