Leader provides further information about potential local government reorganisation

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

The leader of Lancashire County Council has written to the Government to provide further details about a proposal to restructure local government in Lancashire.

Coun Geoff Driver CBE, in a letter to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, has submitted extra information in the form of an outline business case which would see the creation of three unitary authorities with a view to securing a mayoral combined Authority with additional powers and resources to be drawn down from government.
The idea was submitted to the Government in July, and since then work has taken place on the strategic case to provide more information about the proposal.
Coun Driver is now requesting that Government officials enter into a dialogue about the plans at the earliest opportunity so a partnership can be created to develop and consult with all stakeholders on a full business case and timetable for implementation.
Under the plans three new unitary councils would be created to replace all 14 of the county's current district, borough, and unitary councils as well as Lancashire County Council.
The proposed three unitary councils; Northwest Lancashire, Central Lancashire and East (‘Pennine’) Lancashire council's, would provide services for around 500,000 people each, with a mayor being in charge of a combined authority covering the whole county.
Coun Driver said: "I remain firmly of the view that to deliver on our ambitious recovery and levelling up plans, we need to transition to a three unitary and Mayoral Combined Authority model, replacing our complex arrangement of fifteen councils.
"The simplified structures we are proposing are vital to better joint working and stronger partnerships such as with local health organisations and the Local Enterprise Partnership.
"Closer working will allow for a coherent and strategic focus on delivering our significant ambitions including an £8bn development and infrastructure pipeline, improved quality and innovation in service delivery closer to communities and achieving significant efficiencies at scale and pace.
"The proposal also guards against fragmentation in key service areas such as Children's and Adult Services."
The Government has previously stated that handing back power to people and places across the North and the whole of England is an absolute priority to it and its aim of levelling up prosperity and opportunity.
For more information visit https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/media/919064/proposition-for-local-government-reorganisation-in-lancashire.pdf

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