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Devolution deal backed 'in principle'

Fenland District Council continues to support a devolution deal for the East "in principle" but councillors are yet to formally decide whether or not to back the Government's offer.


At a recent all-Member seminar held at Fenland Hall [Wednesday, March 9] councillors were provided with a fuller understanding of what is proposed in the deal on offer to the region, which comprises Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Fenland District Council leader Councillor John Clark said: "We now have a much clearer idea of what is involved in the proposed deal and we agreed that at this stage we are prepared to support it in principle.

"While there are clearly benefits to be had from the deal that is on the table, there are many complex and important issues involved, both as regards the overall funding and in relation to some of the powers that could be devolved. They need further close examination.

"All members will now have more time to consider the whole package, with a view to debating it at full Council, when we will need to make a formal decision on whether or not to support it."

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is expected to include an announcement of the proposed East Devolution Agreement within next Wednesday's Budget speech.

Subsequently the proposed agreement is likely to be made public to give local councillors, key stakeholders and the public the opportunity to examine and debate its contents.

The proposed deal will be debated at Fenland District Council's next full council meeting on May 12. The Government is pressing for early decisions by all the local authorities involved.


Article added 14 March, 2016