Greater Lincolnshire devolution deal is '˜dead, buried and will not be resurrected'

South Holland District Council has given up on a £450 million deal to bring more services to Greater Lincolnshire from the Government.

Coun Malcolm Chandler, Deputy Leader of South Holland District Council.

A deal for ten councils, including South Holland, to come together under an elected mayor and run transport, housing, flood management and employment training, collapsed after county councillors voted against it on October 20.

The devolution plans were formally ended by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid last month and at a meeting of South Holland District Council on Wednesday, Deputy Leader Coun Malcolm Chandler confirmed that the deal was “dead and buried”.

Coun Chandler read out a statement on behalf of district council leader Gary Porter who said: “This council supported the making of an Order by the Secretary of State for the establishment of a Greater Lincolnshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

“Two of the Lincolnshire authorities did not support the proposals but as the final decision rested with the relevant council leaders, we did not know whether this would be the final position of those two authorities.

“But the outcome was unchanged and the Government had previously made it clear that the devolution deal would not be able to progress under these circumstances.

“The Government has now confirmed that there will be no further work on the draft Order and that the devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire is at an end.”

South Kesteven District Council also voted against the deal on October 24 and afterwards, Mr Javid said: “It is disappointing that Lincolnshire County Council and South Kesteven District Council have decided not to proceed with the proposed devolution deal.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid. Photo by Sarah Standing (150218-1407). PPP-150902-164318001.

“Local people in Greater Lincolnshire will now no longer benefit from £450 million of new funding and extra powers.”

When asked about funding opportunities in South Holland, Coun Chandler said: “The Council will continue to engage with its partners in order to deliver joined-up and effective services to its residents.

“But the devolution deal, as was available to Lincolnshire, is dead, buried and will not be resurrected.

“The Government has made it clear that it will not look at anything until after May next year and we will be looking at alternative options to see what we can do.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid. Photo by Sarah Standing (150218-1407). PPP-150902-164318001.

“But any future opportunities will not be on the same scale, or the same financial terms, as the devolution deal was.”

In a column for our sister newspaper, the Spalding Guardian, on Thursday, Coun Porter described the deal’s collapse as “probably the biggest missed opportunity for Lincolnshire that I have seen in any of my 15 years as a councillor”.

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