News

24.08.16

Plans for Lancashire combined authority under attack over ‘massive financial burden’

Plans to establish a combined authority in Lancashire have been opposed by local council leaders.

Cllr Simon Blackburn, Labour leader of Blackpool Council and chair of the Lancashire shadow combined authority, is spearheading an initiative for the county to become the latest region to gain combined authority powers.

He has said the new authority would be able to access government funding of up to £1bn.

However, Cllr Peter Gibson, leader of the Conservative-controlled Wyre council, and Cllr Tony Williams, leader of the Conservatives on Blackpool Council, issued a statement condemning the idea.

They said that Lancashire “does not need and cannot afford another tier of local government”, they pointed out that there has been no government commitment to provide £1bn.

They also said that there has been no estimate of how much the devolved powers will cost to run.

The councillors called health powers, which Lancashire could take on in a similar deal to Greater Manchester Combined Authority, a “massive financial burden”, especially since Lancashire County Council’s adult social care shortfall is predicted to reach £800m by 2020.

The IPPR said recently that health devolution in Greater Manchester has created an additional layer of bureaucracy without devolving real powers.

Cllrs Gibson and Williams said: “The only way to establish whether something is a good deal is to know both the income and the cost, and also it is not said how long is the period of time this fantasy income has to cover.”

All councils in Lancashire apart from Wyre have voted in favour of the combined authority, and proposals are due to be submitted next spring.

It was reported earlier this week that prime minister Theresa May is considering abolishing the requirement for combined authorities to be led by an elected mayor. It was suggested that this was motivated by concerns that the mayoral elections could provide a rallying point for Labour supporters.

Leaders of West Yorkshire Combined Authority supported the move, with Cllr Peter Box, chair of the authority, saying that elected mayors have been an “unnecessary distraction”.

Other proposed devolution deals are also facing challenges, with Hampshire County Council voting against joining the Solent Combined Authority and Norwich and Breckland councils opposing a devolution deal in East Anglia.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here.

 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

08/10/2019NSPCC: Working together to improve the support available for children who have been sexually abused

Hayley Clark, the acting head of development and impact at the NSPCC, talks about the significant gap in support services for children who have been sexually abused and the Ho... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

public sector events

events calendar

back

October 2019

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
30 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10

featured articles

View all News