Lancashire County Council Labour Group are proposing a new way forward for Devolution for Lancashire in order to break the deadlock, through a Lancashire Commissioning Group, made up of the county and borough councils.
Authorities within the Commissioning Group will maintain their own independence. With each Authorities having one equal vote. The commissioning group structure is simple, transparent and requires no elections or boundary changes and most important no increase in council tax.
The Commissioning Group will not provide services directly. It will establish devolved service area Community Interest Companies as agreed with government e.g. Economic Regeneration, Transport, Energy and Housing. The Commissioning Group will set the parameters, targets and time scales for the companies to work in.
The boards of these Community Interest Companies will have 10 members to include Borough, Unitary and County Councils as well as Business and Union representation. The company boards will also be gender balanced.
Each authority will establish a Commissioning Scrutiny Committee. Public Services Panel, will scrutinise the work of the Commissioning Group and sub groups of the Public Services Panel will also scrutinise the work of the individual Community Interest Companies.
Funding would depend on devolved responsibilities and a spend to save policy but sources could be from government and councils.
Cllr Azhar Ali, Labour Leader, said “As local politicians from all parties we ow it to the People of Lancashire to overcome our differences to build a better future. We need to speak to the government with one voice in order to get a better deal for Lancashire. These proposals bring out the best of what we have done and can do. So let’s get the tools and we can get on with the job.”
Cllr John Fillis, Labour Deputy Leader, said “The people of Lancashire would not thank you for a major or another election. We have a history of working together so let’s make it a future to be proud of.”