Giving local decision making to local people
19 local authorities across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire together with business leaders from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership which covers the two counties, are seeking to create a single Combined Authority for the region by March 2016 – the first bid in a two tier Authority area.
In England, devolution refers to the transfer of powers, functions, responsibilities, assets and budgets from central Government and agencies of Central Government through to Local Councils and groups of local Councils in the shape of “Combined Authorities”.
Devolution would give local councils in the North Midlands the power to take decisions about transport, regeneration, skills training and economic development to create the right outcomes for the area.
As a condition of the deal, Government requires a new, directly elected mayor who will have control for the powers devolved from Government as part of the deal – but will not take on or away any existing local authority powers.
The mayor, in conjunction with the Combined Authority, would exercise the powers and functions devolved from Government.
The mayor will be scrutinised and held to account by an Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The mayor would be required to consult the Combined Authority on spending plans and strategies, which the Combined Authority could reject if two-thirds of its members vote against the mayor’s proposals.
The earliest a mayoral election could take place is May 2017.
How will devolution work?
The existing 19 Councils will continue to exist and represent their area as they have done. The two County Councils, 15 Districts and two Cities will continue to exist as separate councils. The Combined Authority will bring together the Leader of each Council with the new Mayor and business representatives in one place.
They will make strategic decisions that affect the whole of the area together rather than separately as has been the case. No powers would be ceded up from the local Councils to the Combined Authority without agreement from elected members at the relevant Council.
The changes will bring major benefits to the North Midlands area:
- local people will take local decisions to drive investment and growth across the area
- greater co-operation between Government, Councils and business will help to open up new areas for development
- the North Midlands will have one voice to make sure we get a fair hearing for future Government funding.
What are the priorities for the North Midlands area?
Six priorities are at the heart of the North Midlands devolution deal to create a better future for the area.