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Lincolnshire County Council approves devolution deal





Lincolnshire County Council has voted in favour of the Greater Lincolnshire devolution deal after an eight-week consultation with some 4,000 responses.

While some members criticised the number of responses was not reflective of the 1.1 million residents of Greater Lincolnshire, local Conservatives argued it was one of the highest engagement rates in the country.

They compared it to the 2023 East Midlands devolution deal consultation, which received 4,869 responses from residents across Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby, and Nottingham — areas with a combined population nearly double that of Greater Lincolnshire.

Greater Lincolnshire's devolution deal has got the thumbs up from Coun Martin Hill
Greater Lincolnshire's devolution deal has got the thumbs up from Coun Martin Hill

During an extraordinary council meeting today (Wednesday), the deal – which promises to bring an additional £24 million per year to Lincolnshire – received majority support despite arguments from opposition members against it.

Coun Marianne Overton (Ind) argued that the deal does not reflect the desires of residents, referencing consultation data that 49% of participants who expressed a clear opinion were against changing local governance to include a directly elected mayor.

However, Lincolnshire County Council Leader Martin Hill (Con) maintained: “People of Lincolnshire might prefer not to have a mayor, but that’s not the choice given to us.”

Lincolnshire County Council approved the devolution deal
Lincolnshire County Council approved the devolution deal

Coun Charles Marfleet (Con) praised the concept of having a directly elected mayor, stating that it represents the only way for the people of Lincolnshire to actually vote for their leader, given that they cannot vote for council leaders.

He also mentioned that many people who attended the in-person consultation events arrived with doubts about the idea of having a mayor, but left with the notion that it might indeed be beneficial, particularly considering the additional investment it could bring to the county.

Following the meeting, Coun Hill added: “It’s been a long old journey, we have been talking about this for about eight years nearly, and there have been lots of ups and downs.

“I think it’s the right thing to do and I think everybody wants devolution, everybody wants the extra pounds and control we get locally.

“The hitch is probably having to have a mayor, and I think we agree with the majority of people that if we could have the devolution deal without the mayor, I think everyone would be very happy.

“But it is quite clear that the government rules to get all these benefits, their condition is that we are required to have a mayor.”

North East Lincolnshire Council and North Lincolnshire Council are also set to vote on the proposed deal on Thursday and Friday respectively.

Should both councils endorse the deal, it will advance to central government, which will then proceed with establishing the Greater Lincolnshire Mayoral Combined County Authority — or determine if further consultation is necessary.

Coun Hill anticipates a response from the government within about two months, expecting further details around the beginning of summer.

If all goes according to plan, officials believe that elections for the Mayor of Lincolnshire could be held around May 2025.

But before that, representatives will be chosen to sit on the mayoral combined authority, with four seats allocated to the seven district councils across Lincolnshire. Additional seats will be allocated to individuals from the Lincolnshire Police & Crime Commissioner and the Lincolnshire Integrated Health Board.

Until the mayoral election, the government pledged £28.4 million in capital funding to the region. Of this, £8.4 million is earmarked for cleaning up brownfield sites in North and North East Lincolnshire, with the remaining £20 million allocated for the advancement of designated projects throughout the county.

The funded projects include the total rebuilding of Old Roman Bank, stretching from Chapel St Leonards to Sandilands, 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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