Councils agree ‘strategic alliance’ in first step towards devolution

An agreement has been reached between the leadership of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire county councils to discuss a “strategic alliance” in an effort to unify the region’s voice.

Although any sort of devolution deal would be quite a way off, this agreement is the first step in an ambitious journey towards it. It follows on from last week’s confirmation that East Midlands was already exploring a potential devolution deal that extends across the region.

The leader of the four councils, Cllr Barry Lewis (Derbyshire), Cllr Nick Rushton (Leicestershire), Cllr Martin Hill (Lincolnshire) and Cllr Kay Cutts (Nottinghamshire), said in a joint statement: “We believe that we can achieve much more if we work together, particularly in the areas of connectivity, trade, investment and growth.

“A recent report showed that people in our area get the lowest government spending on economic development and transport in the country. This will remain the case unless we join forces and make our voice heard.

“The next stage in the plans will be to have further detailed talks to see how we can take the strategic alliance forward with a view to eventually being able to draw down powers and funding from government.”

The strategic alliance would focus on transport, infrastructure, jobs and strategic planning and would ensure the East Midlands comes together to support the wider aims of the Midlands Engine and the Industrial Strategy as the country moves towards Brexit.

It would bring together the four counties alongside the cities of Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, the LEPs in the region and the Chambers of Commerce.


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