BREAKING NEWS: Devolution plans in tatters as county councillors vote ‘No’

Lincolnshire County Council news.
Lincolnshire County Council news.

Lincolnshire County Council has today voted against plans for a new Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority and Mayor.

At an extraordinary council meeting today, members voted 43 to 17 against, with five abstentions, on a plan which would see about £15 million a year given to a new tier of government for transport, housing, skills training and flood prevention.

The devolution plan is due to be voted on by South Holland District Council, but a tweet from council leader Gary Porter said: “Lincolnshire County Council kill off the devolution bid”.

The “No” vote came just a day after Boston Borough Council cabinet members backed the move yesterday, having followed the lead set by East Lindsey District Council earlier this month.

Coun Craig Leyland, Leader of East Lindsey District Council, said: “The implications of Lincolnshire County Council’s recommendation to its Leader can only be fully understood once all ten councils (in Lincolnshire) have voted on devolution. “The final council to vote will be South Holland on October 26, but East Lindsey District Council has been clear that it supports devolution and the opportunities it presents to the area.”

North Kesteven District Council Leader Coun Marion Brighton said most other councils in Greater Lincolnshire have supported the Devolution proposals, “seeing the enormous potential for growth and inward investment in Lincolnshire” and would be looking for a way forward

She said: “I am naturally deeply disappointed that all we have sought to achieve has suffered a major setback.

“The hope was to attract and direct, through partnership of all ten Greater Lincolnshire councils and other agencies, investments of more than £450m to stimulate homes, jobs, infrastructure and skills locally.

“Those of us who continue to support the principles of Devolution will, I am sure dust ourselves off and re-group to see how we can move forward together for the greater good of Greater Lincolnshire.”

She added: “It has always been my concern that if we do not take this golden opportunity now any delays would put us at the back of the queue with fewer resources available to us.”

Coun Brighton hopes to continue discussions with those still committed to seek the best outcome.