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Council re-schedules decision on devolution

Fenland District Council has re-scheduled its decision on whether or not to accept the Government's proposed devolution deal for the East of England to give everyone more time to consider all the issues involved.

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The decision will now be taken at an extraordinary full council meeting on July 1. Previously it had been scheduled for the meeting on May 12.

The proposed deal was officially announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in his Budget speech on March 16.

The council has declared its intent to explore the proposal in more detail and said that further close examination was needed before a formal decision could be taken.

Councillors discussed the timing again at another all-Member seminar yesterday (Tuesday, April 5).

Afterwards council leader John Clark said: "We have decided to put back the date for a decision to give all Members, key stakeholders and the general public more time to examine the deal that is currently on the table.

"There are many things about the proposal that are not yet clear and many questions that still need to be answered on funding, governance and other matters.

"This is not something that just affects Fenland. There are 22 councils involved and there are very serious issues affecting all of us. So this is not something that we should rush.

"Re-scheduling the decision gives us an extra seven weeks in which everyone will have the chance to look in detail at all the issues, to consider all the pros and cons and ultimately to reach a decision that will be in the best interests of Fenland.

"That decision will now be taken by all Members following a debate at an extraordinary full Council meeting on July 1."

Article added April 6, 2016