Lincolnshire County Council rejects devolution deal that would bring £450million into the county
This article was published on October 20, 2016 and information contained within may now be out of date.
Lincolnshire County Council has voted to reject a historic devolution deal that would bring £450million into the county.
Councillors met to discuss revolutionary plans to unite all 10 of Lincolnshire’s local authorities, creating the Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority (GLCA).
But many felt the deal being offered was not good enough and it was better to reject the proposals and push the government for a better deal for the people of Lincolnshire.
An elected mayor would rule over the GLCA, and would take control over transport and highways decisions, which currently belong to the county council.
Every councillor was strongly opposed to the idea of a mayor, but council leader Martin Hill said government had made it clear to him that the devolution deal could not go ahead unless it involved an elected mayor.
Some councillors felt it was best to put concerns over the mayor aside for the time being in order to keep discussions with the government about devolution on the table.
Council Leader Martin Hill must now decide whether he tells government he is in favour or against the proposals on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council
He told the Lincolnshire Echo: “I think the clear messages coming from today’s meeting and the vote is that there is unanimous support for the principle for devolution.
“There was also strong support for the concept of having a Greater Lincolnshire geography. But I don’t think there was anybody who was in favour of a mayor.
“It divided the minority who were pragmatists and said the devolution and the geography were worth paying the price for having the mayor.
“But obviously the clear majority said not, they just don’t want the mayor.”
Speaking about what will happen going forward Cllr Hill added: “The conversation will be is the government still sticking to line of having to have a mayor?
“And will they please firm up the detail, because we’ve looked at the draft orders and there are gaps in it and draft stamped all over it. So we do need the full details before we proceed any further.”
Martin Hill and several councillors voiced concerns over a lack of detail and gaps in the draft contract that government has drawn up.
Seven other councils have already voted in support for the plans. South Kesteven District Council and South Holland District Council are yet to vote.
But without the go ahead from the county council the plans cannot go ahead.
After a robust two hour debate, 43 county councillors voted against the plans, while 17 voted in favour and five abstained.