Devolution consultation draws to conclusion
Over the last seven weeks people across Norfolk and Suffolk have been offering their views and feedback on a proposed devolution deal and associated governance arrangements for the two counties. And fear not, it’s not too late to offer your view if you haven’t done so already! The consultation is set to close at the end of the day on Tuesday 23 August.
Devolution is about transferring certain decision-making powers and funding down from Central Government to a local area. It means that decisions are taken close to where they have an effect.
The majority of councils across Norfolk and all in Suffolk, along with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership supported the deal and agreed to ask the public for their views.
Key elements of proposed Norfolk/Suffolk deal are:
- £25m funding each year for the next 30 years (£750m) to support economic growth, development of local infrastructure and jobs (this will increase the local economy to £43bn and create 95,000 jobs by 2026)
- £130m investment over five years to support the building of new homes across Norfolk and Suffolk
- Over the lifetime of the deal around 200,000 homes could be delivered
- Control of a £225m transport budget for the next four years
- Control of an existing c£20m annual adult skills fund to ensure the training offer matches the needs of local businesses and the local labour market
- Control of an existing c£2m annual Apprenticeship Grant for employers
As part of the consultation, people have been asked for their views on more decisions being taken locally, rather than at central government and whether they support the creation of a combined authority chaired by a directly elected Mayor for the two counties.
People can still have their say by visiting www.eastangliadevo.co.uk and completing the online survey or the hard copy version. The website also includes further information about the proposed deal.
So far, over 2500 submissions have been made as part of the consultation by people completing the online survey. Ipsos-Mori have also been carrying out more than 6000 phone surveys across the two counties to ensure decision makers have a representative sample of views.
Leader of Suffolk County Council, Cllr Colin Noble said:
“I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read about the devolution deal that’s on the table for Suffolk and Norfolk and offered feedback and opinion through the online consultation that has been running since July.”
“The deal we are currently looking at offers Suffolk and Norfolk much needed additional funding and decision making powers to target funding for projects that local people want to see happen. The views being collected through the public consultation will be reported to the Secretary of State for him to consider before he makes his decision on whether or not to agree to create a combined authority.
“If the Secretary of State does agree to proceed, all local councils that signed up in June and the LEP would have to give their final approval in late October/early November before plans would proceed.”