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Local election results fail to deter Conservative push for Lincolnshire devolution

The recent local election results have not swayed Greater Lincolnshire’s leaders from their path towards devolved governance in Lincolnshire.

Conservative leaders hope their successful track record will secure votes for a Greater Lincolnshire mayor in 2025.

Lincolnshire County Council’s Martin Hill, North East Lincolnshire Council’s Philip Jackson, and North Lincolnshire Council’s Rob Waltham have been the driving force behind the Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Deal.

Parliamentary Under Secretary State of Levelling Up Jacob Young, North East Lincolnshire Council Leader Coun Philip Jackson, Coun Martin Hill OBE
Parliamentary Under Secretary State of Levelling Up Jacob Young, North East Lincolnshire Council Leader Coun Philip Jackson, Coun Martin Hill OBE

The deal would introduce a mayor for the county and increase local decision-making and funding transferred from the government, with an extra £24m per year for the next 30 years.

However, during last week’s local elections, the Conservatives took some major hits, with Labour candidates securing all but one of the existing devolved authority seats.

They included Claire Ward (East Midlands), Andy Burnham (Greater Manchester), Steve Rotheram (Liverpool), Kim McGuinness (North East), Paul Dennett (Salford), Oliver Coppard (South Yorkshire), Richard Parker (West Midlands), Tracy Brabin (West Yorkshire), and David Skaith (York and North Yorkshire).

The Conservatives did manage to win in Tees Valley, with Conservative Ben Houchen holding on, albeit with a decreased percentage of the vote.

In North East Lincolnshire as well, the Conservatives lost their majority, leaving the authority initially in No Overall Control.

The Conservatives lost two-thirds of the seats they were defending here.

However, the results do not seem to have deterred Couns Hill and Co, with the former saying: “The devolution deal has been voted on and agreed upon by all three of our councils, and we anticipate that this will be accepted by the government in the summer.

“As you are aware, it entails the creation of a Mayoral County Combined Authority, which has always intended to be made up of various Lincolnshire organisations, including district councils of different political leadership.

“In partnership with the mayor, the MCCA will decide how to make the best use of the additional funding and opportunities which devolution will bring.

“Given the successful record of delivery by Conservative councils in Lincolnshire, we are hopeful that this will be acknowledged by the local electors.”

His comments were backed by Coun Philip Jackson.

Mayoral elections in Lincolnshire may occur around May 2025.

Prior to the mayoral election, £28.4m had also been pledged by the government to be allocated to the GLMCCA for 2024/25.

£8.4m will go towards cleaning up brownfield sites in North and North East Lincolnshire, with the remaining £20m for projects across the county.

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