Lancashire Combined Authority

Proposed Combined Local Authority for Lancashire

Update

Pendle councillors discussed proposals for the Combined Authority at a Council meeting on 10 July 2020.

Lancashire are still waiting for a response from Government about formally becoming a Combined Authority.

Government are reflecting on the devolution agenda, and are preparing a policy paper which is likely to include three options:

  • a combined authority with an elected Mayor and devolution package
  • a combined authority without an elected Mayor and limited devolution powers
  • Local Government reorganisation and the creation of unitary authorities on a footprint of 400,000 to 800,000 population

What is a Combined Authority? 

It's a formal, legal step that means councils can act as one authority in the best interests of Lancashire in the areas of economic regeneration, housing and transport. 

Our Combined Authority Frequently Asked Questions page explains exactly how a Combined Authority would work. 

What does it mean for you?

If you live or work in Lancashire, you might have heard about the proposal for a combined authority and wondered how it could affect you. 

Taking part in the establishment of a Combined Authority will help Pendle - along with other councils in Lancashire - to become thriving and balanced economies that can contribute to increasing national productivity. It will help Lancashire to be a place that will have a positive impact on people's health and wellbeing.

It should allow us to create opportunities for those who are unemployed but want to enter and progress in work and ensure that you can have access to world class facilities to improve and adapt your skills to improve your chances of getting a job. As the demand for skilled employees changes, our workforce will be resilient to change, meaning our aspirations for growth can be sustained.

It also means that higher value jobs can be created for employees with higher skill levels so that they can stay in the county and accelerate its economic growth. 

It could also mean better quality and a greater choice of housing, ultrafast broadband across all parts of the county and improved transport links so we can take advantage of HS2 (High Speed rail) cutting journey times and reducing congestion.

We also aim to create much better working across public sector organisations which will remain at the heart of local communities, giving everyone the opportunity for a healthier life. And we aim to make sure that you get the best value for money out of the services you pay for, whilst ensuring more decisions are taken locally by people who understand the county and what matters to you. 

What does it mean for businesses and other organisations?

This opportunity could be areal game-changer for businesses and organisations like yours. We want to make sure Lancashire has a resilient workforce that has better and more relevant skills so we're in the best position to take advantage of growing sectors such as advanced manufacturing and energy.

We also want better connectivity - more investment to create a modern transport system and ultrafast broadband in every part of the county so businesses can compete nationally and globally for investment so that they can grow and create higher value jobs for residents.  

The aim is to have a more co-ordinated and focused approach to local business support too so that no matter how big or small your business you are able to access the support you need, whether that's advice, knowledge or funding, to grow your business. Partnership working would be key to the success of a Combined Authority and a more co-ordinated approach will make sure Lancashire is in the best position possible to take advantage of new investment opportunities.

What does it mean for borough, county and unitary councillors?

This is a chance for you to have an even greater influence on what happens in your area. Devolution of powers and money is not just a one-off, it is a new way of engaging with the Government and potentially opens up lots of opportunities. It should mean that there is more flexibility in decision-making,with more local influence, and there would be more control over how services are financed.  

What does it mean for council employees?

If you work at one of the councils in Lancashire, and are involved day-to-day in the services local government provides, it's really important that we get your views on this proposal. 

The idea of devolution is a new way of councils engaging with the Government and is an exciting time for officers to have more influence on directing where any investment might be spent, identifying what new powers and flexibilities could help improve services and how local public services can be redesigned so that residents receive the best quality services. 

Other areas with a Combined Authority