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Pendle councillors discuss proposals for Lancashire Combined Authority

Published: Monday, 13th July 2020

Nelson Town Hall

Nelson Town Hall, HQ of Pendle Council.

Pendle’s councillors are seeking clear information about the impact of the creation of a Lancashire Combined Authority with a directly elected mayor.

At last week’s Council meeting (Friday 10 July) councillors agreed that because of a lack of clarity they will not proceed with the proposals at this stage.

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, said: “The aim of a Combined Authority for Lancashire is to bring councils together to improve the county’s economy and address issues such as planning, housing and skills.

“It’s something we’ve been discussing for a number of years but the Government has now made it clear it expects a combined authority with an elected mayor, giving a single point of accountability.

“We need clearer information on the devolution deal for Lancashire and how local government could be reorganised if a combined authority with an elected mayor was to go ahead.”

Councillor David Whipp, Deputy Leader, added: “An elected mayor would be unaccountable to residents in Pendle, with a combined authority hoovering up power away from local residents.

“The consequential creation of sprawling unitary councils would lead to residents having no hope of local control over issues affecting them.”

Pendle Council will write to the Government after the publication of the White paper on English devolution, which is expected in autumn, and once any proposed models for reorganisation have been developed.

Councillor Iqbal added: “Once all of the facts are established we will reconsider the options at a future meeting but our commitment remains with Pendle residents and we will fight for them.”