Lancashire’s 12 district councils, Lancashire County Council and the county’s two unitary authorities – Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool – have been deciding whether to take the proposed combined authority to the next stage, namely public consultation and a governance review. They are in the process of voting on the matter and indications are that 14 out of 15 are set to approve the move.
A meeting of Ribble Valley Borough Council heard last night (Tuesday, December 15) that the combined authority would enable closer collaboration in transport, regeneration, economic growth, skills, housing and employment.The meeting heard that members of the proposed combined authority would remain separate entities, but work together more effectively to attract and maintain economic growth, and offer a strong governance model to attract freedoms and flexibilities from the Government.
Ribble Valley councillors across all parties voted in favour of taking the proposed combined authority to the next stage.
Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “The proposed combined authority is a significant milestone in the process of collaborative working and devolved power that is unprecedented in the 40-year history of Ribble Valley. A combined authority will provide the best opportunity to achieve economic potential and discharge new powers and funding from Government as part of the Northern Powerhouse. It will strengthen the position of small authorities like Ribble Valley, offering us an equal say in key matters affecting our borough, and it is to the credit of all the authorities involved that this consensus is now a reality".
“We will now ask Ribble Valley residents what they think of the proposed combined authority and I encourage them to take part in the consultation process.”
A six-week consultation will start in January and Ribble Valley Borough Council will make a final decision on the matter in April.