Councils to give final decision on Lancashire Combined Authority

Councillors across Lancashire will decide whether to press ahead with plans for a Combined Authority after a public consultation gave overwhelming support to the proposal.

Council leaders standing compressed

Each of the 14 councils taking part in the process will take a report to members in the coming weeks to seek approval to submit a bid to Central Government.

It comes after almost two thousand residents and businesses took part in a consultation with the vast majority saying yes to the plans.

Coun Alistair Bradley, chair of the leaders’ group on Combined Authority matters, said: “It’s really important people have taken time to give their views on the Combined Authority because it is a great opportunity for us to become a much bigger part of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation.

“The early indications are that the vast majority of the public support the idea and we will be looking at all the detailed comments to see if they can be incorporated into the proposals for Lancashire.

“The next step is for each council to re-consider the proposal and this time they will be deciding whether they want to submit a formal bid to the Government for Lancashire to create a Combined Authority.”

The councils will take reports to their individual meetings throughout March and April and if approved a bid could be submitted in May. It will then be considered by the Government before they make a decision, which could be as early as the summer.

It would see Lancashire join many other county and city areas, which have already had approval for similar bids, in a bid to drive economic prosperity and create new jobs for residents.

“It’s important we keep up momentum with the process so the consultation feedback will be turned into a report for councillors very quickly and it will give councillors more detailed proposals for them to consider,” said Alistair.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to show Lancashire means business and make sure the county is a driving force in the Northern Powerhouse.” “We’ll keep people updated on progress over the coming weeks.”