Greater Lincolnshire could have Mayor by 2025 under devolution plan

Greater Lincolnshire is still committed to devolution despite government cuts, and could have an elected mayor as soon as 2025.

Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Coun Martin Hill.
Leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Coun Martin Hill.

The three unitary authorities are preparing to approve negotiations with the government.

Devolution has long been seen as a way for local areas to attract additional investment, and steep government cuts do not seem to have tarnished this dream for Lincolnshire County Council.

North Lincolnshire is the first of the three unitary authorities to vote on devolution proposals.

Their plans for negotiations could see Greater Lincolnshire elect a combined authority mayor within three years.

Lincolnshire County Council will be shortly behind, discussing plans at full council on Friday, December 9.

North East Lincolnshire, the third party, would also need to approve plans.

However, the government has not announced when it will accept further funding proposals.

The draft devolution prospectus for North Lincolnshire says: “As there is currently no one democratic body that covers our economic area we will seek to establish a county combined authority as a strong and accountable model of leadership for levelling up Greater Lincolnshire, including an elected mayor if this is a requirement in the final legislation.”

Lincolnshire County Council leader Councillor Martin Hill says the government still believes in the importance of devolution despite changes of Prime Minister and financial belt-tightening.

“A devolution bid for Greater Lincolnshire will be discussed at our next full county council meeting,” he said.

“Although we haven’t yet had any indication about when the government will be accepting further proposals, it’s important that we are clear about the powers and funding we will be asking for, so we are ready for when the next round of bids are invited.

“With the announcement of county deals for Suffolk and Norfolk in the autumn budget, the government has reinforced that devolution is still very much on their agenda.”