County plots path to combined authority

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Lancashire County Council is working on 'bold new proposals' to abolish 15 local councils and replace them with a combined authority led by an elected mayor.

The plans for such a system have been a topic of discussion for many years, but so far none of the proposals have gained universal agreement from the individual councils.

If successful, it is hoped that a combined authority would mirror the successes of other regions such as Liverpool and Manchester which have utilised devolved powers to spur on economic growth.

Now council leader Geoff Driver believes he has the roadmap which will see this become a reality for Lancashire.

The plans would see 15 council bodies abolished, replaced with a streamlined structure that would see three councils responsible for the delivery of services to the people of Lancashire. This would then pave the way for the election of a mayor for the whole county and the creation of the Lancashire Combined Authority.

Geoff Driver said: "For far too long Lancashire has missed out on the benefits of devolution because of internal squabbles about how our structures are organised. It's time to set aside petty politicking and break that logjam.

It's time to set aside petty politicking and break the logjam

"These bold and ambitious proposals represent a once-in-a-generation change that will transform Lancashire and benefit everyone who lives in this great county."

The roadmap will now be worked up into firm proposals which will be submitted to central government.

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