County leader confident devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire will go ahead

LCC Leader Coun Martin HIll.LCC Leader Coun Martin HIll.
LCC Leader Coun Martin HIll.
The leader of Lincolnshire County Council is confident that the devolution deal for Greater Lincolnshire will proceed as planned, with the combined mayoral authority expected to be established from October.

In March, LCC, along with North and North East Lincolnshire councils, formally voted in favour of the deal, which promises to bring an additional £24 million per year to Lincolnshire.

It has now advanced to central government, which will either proceed with establishing the combined authority or decide if further consultation is necessary — as the eight-week consultation attracted responses from just 4,000 residents.

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The county council expects to hear back from the Secretary of State around late spring or early summer.

Calling upon MPs - Coun Marianne Overton.Calling upon MPs - Coun Marianne Overton.
Calling upon MPs - Coun Marianne Overton.

Following the LCC Executive meeting on Wednesday, Leader Martin Hill (Conservative) noted that the council is already in the planning stage, expressing confidence that the deal will proceed as expected.

He said: “We have sent our formal letter back to government and I am pretty confident now that we will get approval.”

Councillor Hill continued: “By October, we need to have certain things set up in terms of the organisation ready for the election of the Lincolnshire mayor in May 2025.

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“We are pretty confident now that it will happen. What we’re hearing is that it looks pretty positive in terms of it proceeding.”

Before an election can take place, representatives will be selected to sit on the combined authority, with four seats allocated to the seven district councils across Lincolnshire. Another seat will be designated for either the Lincolnshire or the Humberside Police & Crime Commissioner.

With the deal comes an initial £28.4 million in capital funding from central government. Of this, £8.4 million is earmarked for cleaning up brownfield sites in North and North East Lincolnshire, while the remaining £20 million allocated for projects throughout the rest of Lincolnshire.

The funded projects include the next phase of construction of Sleaford Moor Enterprise Park in Sleaford, completely rebuilding of Old Roman Bank, stretching from Chapel St Leonards to Sandilands in Skegness, enhancements to major commuting and residential roads in and around Lincoln, and flood mitigation measures in Market Rasen and Kirkby on Bain.

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Leader of the Lincolnshire Independents, County and District Councillor Marianne Overton, has written to all Lincolnshire’s MPs in opposition to the devolution deal as it stands.

She said: “It sells Lincolnshire short and we are not buying it. In a classic case of the Emperor’s new clothes, this so-called ‘devolution deal’ for Lincolnshire takes power away from people and guarantees nothing.

“Our MP’s could stop it now. Please write to them, to the Minister and to the Prime Minister.”

She has written a standard letter inviting others to use it as a base for their own messages to MPs.

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Coun Overton said the deal adds another layer of bureaucracy and extra costs, more tax to pay on council tax bills.

She writes: “The money should go to our councils as they are. There is £262m promised from the cancelled HS2.”

She claimed it will take power further away from residents. “The money is not guaranteed – the new authority would still have to submit a bid, a business plan for the £24m to show a return in increased tax that the Government would get for their investment.

"Money that should have come to services in Lincolnshire could be drawn into the Free Port and failed industries on the North and North-East areas. The amount is much less than the £360m we are currently spending on new roads and transport, supported by Central Government, based on submitted business plans.

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"The new area is larger still, with power and money in very few hands, making it harder still to get your voice heard.”

She called upon MPs to tell ministers that they refuse to support the Lincolnshire Devolution Deal.