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Lancashire County Council Votes in Favour of a Combined Authority

Thursday, 24th March 2016

Lancashire County Council has voted in favour of setting up a Combined Authority for Lancashire after residents and businesses were asked for their views.

The county council gave overwhelming support to the idea when it met to discuss the initial proposals before Christmas and has now agreed to support a formal bid being submitted to the Government.

Two thousand residents and businesses took part in the consultation, organised by Lancashire's councils and the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership, with 70% of respondents supporting the principle of a Combined Authority.

Establishing a Combined Authority creates a legal body that allows councils to work more closely together on big strategic issues, such as transport and skills, to help secure more investment and jobs for the county. It does not involve any kind of merger between councils.

Jo Turton, chief executive of Lancashire County Council, said: “Lancashire's councils have been working towards setting up a Combined Authority for some time now and today's decision was the next stage in that process.

"Residents and businesses responded very positively to the consultation earlier this year and county councillors have now given it their support. At a time when resources are tight and central government is keen to devolve power and funding to a more local level, this is another step towards councils working more closely together on the big strategic issues that affect us all.

"Not all councils have formally made their decision yet but if all goes well we could see a formal bid submitted in the next few months."

Lancashire County Council is one of the first authorities to make a final decision on the proposals.

The consultation covered all parts of the county with the main feedback from the survey being:

• 74% of respondents strongly or tend to agree that a partnership approach is important in Lancashire
• 70% strongly or tend to agree with the proposal to establish a Combined Authority in Lancashire
• Of those who disagree with the proposal, the main concerns are around where any resources would be focused across the county and the adverse impact the proposal might have on local services

A summary of the consultation responses can be seen at http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/council/organisation-and-partnerships/lancashire-combined-authority.aspx

For further information please contact: Andy Swain on 01772 532781
andy.swain@lancashire.gov.uk

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