Unitary authority ‘off the table’ but devolved powers will give an ‘exciting opportunity to shape our destiny’

Lincolnshire County Council Leader, Coun Martin Hill.
Lincolnshire County Council Leader, Coun Martin Hill.

The Government devolving powers to the Lincolnshire or Greater Lincolnshire area could provide an ‘exciting opportunity’ to change the areas ‘destiny’, according to the leader of Lincolnshire County Council.

Coun Martin Hill Tweeted on Monday that he had had ‘good discussions with councils and other partners in Greater Lincolnshire’ about making a bid for devolution later this year.

He also confirmed that an idea for a unitary authority to cover the county was ‘off the table’.

This idea which could have seen the joining of borough and district councils was first brought to the fore as a suggestion to help the council save £30 million a year.

Speaking to the Standard about devolution, he said: “I think it’s an exciting opportunity being offered by the government for us to grab an agenda and be more in charge of our own local destiny.”

He said the council were working with organisations like Lincolnshire Police, the Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Environment Agency and more to work on a bid to submit in time for the autumn sitting of Parliament.

Devolved powers are set to give local authorities more say over how they run and fund themselves with the idea that local people will know what they need best - going right down to parish councils.

It can also save money for those organisations involved.

Manchester and parts of Cornwall have already submitted bids to Government.

For more see next week’s paper.