Geoff Driver
Combined Authority offers 'great opportunity' to county, says Cllr Geoff Driver

Leaders unite over Lancashire combined authority

Sarah Townsend

Council leaders have agreed in principle to explore a combined authority for the county, to address issues such as transport and inward investment and give it greater clout in Whitehall funding decisions.

Councillors from the 15 Lancashire local authorities met on 10 June and unanimously agreed to investigate the possibility of greater devolution from central Government as a way of driving the county’s future economic growth.

Other areas of the UK that have set up a combined authority, including Liverpool City Region and Greater Manchester, “have seen a boost to investment in the economy, infrastructure and skills”, a joint statement from the councils said.

Any agreement to form a combined authority would need to be ratified by each of the councils and be subject to local democratic processes. The final ‘devolution deal’, which the councils aim to put together over the coming months, would require Government approval.

Cllr Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “The creation of a combined authority is a great opportunity for the whole of Lancashire.

“The principle has been positively endorsed today by Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet.”

Cllr David Henderson, leader of Wyre Council and Cllr Alyson Barnes, leader of Rossendale Council and chair of the District Leaders Forum, added in a joint statement: “Councils in Lancashire are keen to work together for the benefit of all our residents and businesses across Lancashire.

“The interest in a combined authority for Lancashire stems from the ability to access greater Government funding to assist the growth of businesses and stimulate the economy.”

The full list of Lancashire councils that would form a combined authority are:

  • Blackburn with Darwen Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Burnley Council
  • Chorley Council
  • Fylde Council
  • Hyndburn Council
  • Lancashire County Council
  • Lancaster City Council
  • Pendle Council
  • Preston City Council
  • Ribble Valley Council
  • Rossendale Council
  • South Ribble Council
  • West Lancashire Council
  • Wyre Council

Your Comments

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The words “At last” spring to mind. The only thing that is missing is the return of Southport to Lancashire.

By Bob Robinson

at last

By snowman

This is good and necessary….Lancashire missing out over the last few years BUT ….note a local government review also planned ….vital just 3/4 big unitary authorities formed….as in Manchester and Liverpool city region….will never work with the county , 2 medium sized unitary LAs and 12 tiny districts

By George

Good to see all your Councils Finally uniting as one. This can only be a good thing for everyone in this day and age. Good Luck God Bless All.

By Joan Wellings

“The principle has been positively endorsed today by Lancashire County Council’s Cabinet.”
What is the function of Lancashire County Council, if it is not the combined authority?

By Anon

Not sure who this would benefit. It seems to be a step towards one powerful decision making body rather than local democracy. Borough Councils and Parish Councils should be taking most decisions for the benefit of local residents.

By Peter K Roberts.

About time long overdue

By B p Bradshaw

@Bob Robinson.

Not entirely sure which Lancs. council would want to take Southport, and its ageing population, number of care homes, amount of heritage that requires constant public intervention and outside investment, empty business parks/not built business units, maintenance and control of significant sections of protected and non-protected coast …

Southport being in Sefton isn’t the reason for its downfall, as much as many Sandgrounders may say. And if you are intent to leave Sefton you can leave Formby where it is, ta!

By JohnMac

JohnMac, you do realise that no one wants to be run by a local government that arguably cant even run “itself” properly. Personally I think Formby et al would be better ran under any structure, outside the present combined authority. Maybe parts of Sefton would prosper under a Lancashire ca, and they could benefit each other? If this choice had been put to the people in the first place, there would be no LCR.

By Blundellsands

As someone who grew up in a town in West Lancashire, with a complete dearth of investment and an area that continues to be ever increasingly populated with new housing and zero increase in public service I’m not sure what some people see as some magical ‘grass is greener’ approach under any Lancashire governance.

By M2211

What a load of rubbish! West lancs should be part of Liverpool city region. 90% of the people in Aughton, Ormskirk and Skem (my town) have Merseyside origins! And as our 3 areas make up about 80% of the population of the whole of west lancs, it should be up to us to decide which newly formed authority we want to join! And believe me it won’t be the red rose of Lancashire for most of us! Instead it will be where our parents and grandparents came from! ie. ThePool!

By Paul Maca