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Friday, December 18, 2015

Council agrees consultation plan for Combined Authority

Councillors in West Lancashire have agreed to join forces with other authorities in Lancashire to gauge public opinion in the county as to whether a Combined Authority should be created.

West Lancashire Borough Council debated the proposals at its meeting on 16 December 2016 and backed the idea.

A public consultation is planned for January if Councils support the proposals.

Councillor Ian Moran, Leader of West Lancashire Borough Council, said: “A Combined Authority would help to improve the economy in Lancashire and see more money coming in so we can compete with other areas for inward investment.

“It will allow for greater accountability and give all areas of Lancashire a voice.”

A combined authority is a legal body that means Councils across a designated area, in this case Lancashire, can work together better in partnership on some of the wider issues such as transport, economic development, housing and regeneration.

All 12 District Councils, as well as Lancashire County Council and the two unitary authorities – Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool Councils – have been involved in the process.

Councillor Moran added: “One of the aims is to create a place where businesses want to invest and create jobs – if we can work together with one voice and make sure people in our county have the right skills we will be a much more attractive proposition to investors.

“Likewise, we’ve seen a lot of plans to improve transport links across the country – if we can work together in Lancashire, it will help us make the case for investment and improvements here.”

The Council will consider a further report on becoming a member of a Lancashire Combined Authority on 13 April 2016, after consideration of the consultation responses.

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