Latest News | 15 December 2022

Region’s £1.14bn devolution plans discussed at conference

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Leaders across the region have come together for a conference to discuss devolution plans for the East Midlands.

At the conference, which was held in Nottingham, leaders from councils in Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham and Nottinghamshire, as well as other political leaders, were joined by representatives from universities and colleges, emergency services, businesses, and voluntary and community groups.

A public consultation on devolution proposals for the East Midlands is currently open until Monday 9 January.

The conference included breakout sessions looking at specific aspects of the plans in more detail, including what devolution would mean for housing, transport, skills and adult education, and the environment.

Councillor Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council, said: “The East Midlands has long been overlooked and held back compared to other areas of the country.

“The cities and counties in our region should have a bigger voice, and this devolution deal would give us the influence, funding, and powers that we deserve.

“I would encourage everyone to give us their views on the deal by taking part in the consultation.”

The leaders of all the local councils signed up to work on a devolution deal on 30 August at Rolls-Royce, in Derby, following an announcement from the Government that a package of new powers and funding, worth £1.14 billion, were available for the area.

Since then, all four councils have been working on a more detailed proposal for how devolution would work, with the public consultation launched in November.

It is proposed that the new Combined County Authority, which would include representatives from existing local councils, and would cover Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby, and Nottingham, would be known as the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA).

The EMCCA would be led by an elected mayor representing both counties and both cities.

It is understood that devolution would provide the region with a guaranteed income stream of £38 million per year over a 30-year period, and would cover around 2.2 million people, making it one of the biggest in the country.

As well as the £1.14 billion, devolution plans include an extra £16 million for new homes on brownfield land, and control over a range of budgets.

Among those who attended the devolution conference was Natalie Gasson-McKinley, development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses.

She said: “The devolution bid and consultation is a fantastic opportunity for everyone across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire to hear about the plans that are happening but also to help shape those plans. The scale of the opportunity is huge, done right.

“For small businesses in particular, the opportunity to shape their local economic environment is crucial.

“There’s so much happening to businesses at the moment. It is a really tough and challenging time.

“So, to have decision makers placed locally, who can really impact and make positive change, is everything to those businesses right now.

“I’d encourage businesses, communities, anybody really to get involved with the consultation and to speak to people about what’s happening, because it is really important to share those views about what you want to see.”

If the devolution deal is formally approved, the Government would pass legislation bringing a new combined authority for the East Midlands into existence.

The first election for a regional mayor for Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire, would be in May 2024.

A video about the devolution conference can be viewed here

More information about the consultation, and a link to an online survey, can be found here.

An online public engagement meeting about the devolution proposals is due to take place on Wednesday 4 January. To join visit here.

And on Friday 6 January, Marketing Derby will be holding an online devolution consultation event for its Bondholders, in partnership with East Midlands Chamber.

Further details about that event can be found here.

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