Greater Lincolnshire in “devolution top five”

Greater Lincolnshire is one of five two-tier areas reportedly in the lead for local government reorganisation.

The Local Government Chronicle reports official talks are not yet underway about devolution, but said sources had confirmed our region joined Cumbria, North Yorkshire, Somerset and Surrey as forerunners to get the go ahead.

It is expected the five-some could be announced as part of the local recovery and devolution white paper due to be unveiled at the Conservative party’s virtual conference from October 4-7.

Lincolnshire County Council leader Councillor Martin Hill  said “rumours” suggested the authority, along with its partners North and North East Lincolnshire, would hear back about its request to open discussions on a devolution deal this week.

“If and when the government sends us a decision, we’ll have to look at what the criteria are and what the government might look favourably on,” he said.

A spokesman for LCC today confirmed they had not yet heard anything since the letter of intent was sent, and made no further comment on the plans.

The plans for devolution have split the county and district councils .

Upper tier authorities suggest it could save billions nationally, reduce red tape and give communities a unified voice.

However,  district councils say now is not the right time, as the country looks to focus on recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Lincolnshire County Council’s economy portfolio holder Colin Davie last week said a single unitary authority replacing all ten councils would save £50million a year, get rid of extra layers of bureaucracy and give the region more powers to shape its future.

However, a source within the county council has since said a single authority was not what authority leaders were looking at.

However, they could not confirm the actual plans, saying the councils were waiting to hear what limits and requirements central government would put on.

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