Opinion: Time for a Lancashire Assembly

Downtown in Business chief executive Frank McKenna is calling for the establishment of an assembly for the county which would bring together local authorities, business organisations, trade unions, further and higher education, and the voluntary, cultural and community sector.

McKenna says it follows the failure of Lancashire’s political leaders to progress to a formal Combined Authority – despite devolution deals being struck across many parts of the Northern Powerhouse.

“This leaves a huge vacuum here. We have no single, powerful voice to speak up for Lancashire, to lobby government, and to evolve policy and strategy effectively.

“It is time for Lancashire to get its act together and demonstrate to the government that we do want more powers, responsibilities, and resources locally; and that we intend to create a structure that will give government the comfort that it needs to transfer those additional powers.”

Have your say: Email your thoughts on a Lancashire assembly to editor@lancashirebusinessview.co.uk

“To sit back and do nothing is not an option. Look at what happened with the BAE announcement last week. Had that occurred in Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham would have been on the steps of ten Downing Street the next day with a delegation from across his city-region demanding action.

Frank, a regular columnist for Lancashire Business View, is now writing to political leaders, including the Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry, outlining his proposal. “I have spoken to a number of politicians about the idea. They think it is worth discussing. I hope it is something we can move forward with quickly, before Lancashire becomes an ineffective observer, rather than a player, in the Northern Powerhouse initiative.”

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