Welcome for East Anglia Draft Devolution Agreement
16 March 2016
George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council, has welcomed the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement of a draft devolution agreement for East Anglia in his budget speech today. The deal is worth more than one billion pounds for East Anglia.
Cllr Nobbs said: “This announcement of a draft agreement for East Anglia potentially sees the start of a profound transfer of powers from Whitehall to this region. I have always believed that key decisions on public services are best made by locally elected politicians, answerable to the public, rather than distant bureaucrats in Whitehall.
“Each and every council in the region will now debate the draft document as details are worked up. I am personally delighted that this is a deal specifically for East Anglia. This is not a region created by central dictate, it is deeply rooted in English history and has possessed a distinct identity for more than a thousand years.”
The deal has been produced after months of negotiation with authorities across Norfolk and Suffolk, and latterly, Cambridge and Peterborough. The New Anglia LEP is also a signatory.
The draft agreement will now be debated in each of the councils in the region.
Including other local investments confirmed in today’s Budget, the deal would bring over £1 billion to the area for transport, skills and housing as well as new local powers to give the area control over existing pots of Government money.
The current offer includes:
- Over £1 billion of new money to support economic growth over the next 30 years
- The region will take control of millions of pounds of multi-year consolidated and devolved transport budget
- New powers over infrastructure, developing skills for employment, and improving our health and social care system
- £175 million of capital grant for the East to deliver an ambitious target of new homes in line with national targets
- The deal would also include the creation of a combined authority for East Anglia, chaired by a directly elected Mayor supported by a cabinet made up from leaders from the partner authorities
The draft agreement suggests a combined authority be set up across the four authority areas in the East but councils would still keep their sovereignty and deliver local services. It would see the transfer of significant resources and powers from central government to the region but at this stage specifically for infrastructure, housing economic development and jobs and skills.