£8 million road improvements for Skegness in proposed Devolution deal
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Lincolnshire County Council, along with North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Council have all approved the deal, which promises to deliver £24 million annually to the region for 30 years via a Mayoral Investment Fund.
Other key aspects of the proposal include the election of a mayor in 2025, a one-off capital investment of £28.4 million, and the devolution of the adult education budget control from 2026.
Senior councillors from Lincolnshire County Council held the session at the Storehouse to engage with residents about how the devolution deal could affect them and their communities.
Andy Gutherson, Executive Director of Place, Lincolnshire County Council, said: “There is a proposal to deliver an £8 million improvement scheme to Roman Bank which will improve access to the coast – and that is an immediate, quick win for the coast and communities of this area.”
In spite of some public concerns, Mr Gutherson said the proposals were not about adding another layer of bureaucracy to the county.
"The proposal is that the Mayor would be responsible for the devolved powers that are being released to Lincolnshire from Whitehall,” he said.
"The existing authorities would continue to be responsible for those functions.
"It’s not about the Mayor taking overall control – he will have a different set of responsibilities.”
Coun Wendy Bowkett, LCC Executive Councillor: Adult Care and Public Health, said: “I think this is a really good opportunity for Lincolnshire to put us on the map.
"We are a very vast county and we are a rural county as well.
"Deprivation along the coast is really high with our older population and the people who move here.
"This is a great opportunity to get more money into Lincolnshire.
"We will have four district councillors sitting around the table and they will be able to vote.
"Skegness already has £50 million from the Towns Fund to really omprove the area and we are looking forward to bringing more.”
Skegness Town Council had expressed some concerns regarding devolution at their January meeting and Coun Danny Brookes went along to the roadshow to find out more.
"I had major concerns before I came here but I’m a little more persuaded now,” he said.
"I have the documentation after speaking to officers and I’m going home to have a good read and I’ll make a decision then.
"Residents need to be looking at it to see what the benefits might be.
"I’m just a little concerned the |Government doesn’t trust the councils or the MPs and is saying you can’t have any more money without a Mayor.
"But talking to the officers it may not be as bad as I feared.”
Some members of the public were not convinced, though.
"We’ll see when it’s shared out,” said Gillian Watson of Orby. “If they go on population Skegness won’t get a lot.
"It won’t benefit the likes of us. There will still be no money and no roads repaired.”
To find out more and have your say visit lincolnshire.gov.uk/devolution. The consultation is open until January 29.