Lincolnshire County Council has rejected plans for a Greater Lincolnshire Combined Authority and ‘killed off’ the prospect of a local devolution deal.
Communities secretary Sajid Javid had told council leaders that plans for the £450m devolution deal would require support from all 10 authorities.
However, councillors in Lincolnshire voted on Thursday ( 20 October) against accepting the mayoral combined authority by a margin of 43 to 17.
In a tweet that was later deleted, Local Government Association chair Gary Porter said the county’s decision would ‘kill off the devolution bid’.
Speaking at the meeting, Lincolnshire CC leader, Cllr Martin Hill, said: ‘All 10 councils will have to sign the agreement… The constitutional arrangement is quite clear: everyone has to sign or the deal will fall. That has been made very clear.’
However he hinted that another combined authority deal could be on the cards, telling councillors that senior ministers had indicated ‘if we don’t go with this deal we’ll be in with everyone else, but if we do go with this deal we’ll be in a privileged position’.
Cllr Hill said it was ‘not going to be possible’ to ‘persuade the Government that the directly elected mayor position will be dropped’.
Lincolnshire CC’s decision was welcomed by Gainsborough MP, Edward Leigh, who said councillors had ‘shown courage to defy the orthodoxy’.
North Lincolnshire Council, North East Lincolnshire Council and East Lindsey DC had supported plans for the combined authority.
Following North Lincolnshire’s vote, council leader Baroness Liz Redfern, said: ‘At one time, if one [council] decided it didn’t want to be part of [the deal] then it was felt that the rest could go forward after a new consultation, but [Sajid Javid] was adamant that it is all or nothing.’
This story first appeared in our sister publication The MJ.