Lancashire

Lancashire devolution deal continues as two of 15 authorities pull out

Blackpool Tower Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The majority of the local authorities in Lancashire - one county council, two unitary authorities and 12 smaller councils - back a devolution deal

A proposed devolution plan for Lancashire is to go ahead, despite two councils withdrawing their support.

Lancashire's 15 local authorities except Wyre backed an original bid to take powers from Westminster but on Wednesday the leader of Fylde Borough Council said it too would pull out.

Devolution would see the county make its own decisions on transport, housing, and parts of education.

A formal request to form a combined authority is expected this summer.

'Investment'

Susan Fazackerley, leader of Fylde Council, said the ruling Conservative group had decided there was not enough to be gained from the mooted deal.

Blackpool Council leader Simon Blackburn, chairman of Lancashire's shadow combined authority, said the deal must progress, adding that he had hoped Fylde "would change their mind".

He said: "I think the combined authority and devolution deal are essential if we are going to be able to be serious about Lancashire being able to compete with the other major regions such as Manchester and Merseyside for investment."

Devolution would see a multimillion-pound investment fund and the introduction of an elected mayor.

The original proposed devolution deal would have seen 15 councils join forces.

They are: Lancashire County Council; Blackpool Council; Blackburn with Darwen Council; Burnley Borough Council; Rossendale Borough Council; Hyndburn Borough Council; Pendle Borough Council; Fylde Borough Council; Chorley Council; Preston City Council; Ribble Valley Borough Council; West Lancashire Borough Council; Lancaster City Council; South Ribble Borough Council; and Wyre Borough Council.

North West neighbours Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region will elect their respective metro mayors in May.

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