May 26, 2023 5.00 pm This story is over 9 months old

Greater Lincolnshire Mayoral election could be held by 2025

Devolution discussions have restarted

A mayoral election for Greater Lincolnshire could be held as soon as 2025 if devolution plans progress.

The leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Councillor Martin Hill, has confirmed that discussions have recommenced after the local elections.

An agreement with the government could potentially be signed later this year.

Under the latest deal, an additional layer of authority would be established, led by a directly-elected mayor, encompassing Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, and North East Lincolnshire.

Councillor Hill said: “Now that the elections are over and purdah has finished, conversations have restarted with government about a potential devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire which could potentially have agreement this year with a mind for a mayoral election in 2025.

“If things go reasonably well, reports will be presented to this council with progress and a potential deal that can be submitted to the government.”

Devolution involves the transfer of powers and responsibilities from central government to regional or local authorities.

Supporters argue that it empowers local communities by granting them greater control over decision-making processes and resources.

However, opponents express concerns about potential local government reorganisation and the dissolution of district councils.

They fear that decisions may be made by individuals who lack firsthand experience of the areas affected.

In February 2022, an earlier devolution bid was rejected by the government. Nevertheless, council leaders remain determined.

A previous bid failed in 2016 after two councils voted against it. However, leaders of the three primary authorities are confident in their ability to address previous concerns.

Nevertheless, securing the support of the district councils remains a significant challenge.

Many concerns have been raised, particularly regarding the perceived reduced representation for the lower-tier authorities in the latest deal.

Following the AGM of East Lindsey District Council, Councillor Craig Leyland commented: “We are willing to discuss and understand the governance surrounding the proposed devolution deal.

“Lord Gary Porter and Paul Skinner [the former leaders of South Holland and Boston Borough Council] were very concerned about how governance would land.

“We have had discussions with Councillor Martin Hill, who has assured us that governance will be a key consideration. We hope to reach a resolution.”