Notts confirmed for devolution deal – but council leader warns it’s ‘just a word and nothing without the nuts and bolts’

Nottinghamshire councils have been successful in attempts to gain more devolved decision-making power from the Government and will now negotiate for a ‘county deal’.

By Andrew Topping
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 5:52 pm

The county was today named as one of nine areas selected to progress with the Government’s new form of devolution.

It means Nottinghamshire authorities could receive extra funding and powers to improve vital services like healthcare, transport, planning, education and regional development.

Supporters say it could open up the door to regional infrastructure schemes and control over public transport costs.

Coun Ben Bradley, Mansfield MP and Nottinghamshire Council leader, outside County Hall, the council headquarters in West Bridgford.

The Government confirmed all nine areas will also be invited to negotiate on whether they want a mayoral combined authority.

It is unclear at this stage whether Nottinghamshire would take advantage of a mayoral setup, with Coun Ben Bradley, Nottinghamshire Council leader and Mansfield MP, previously playing down the idea.

However, the Government says a mayoral system is available ‘for those areas that want one’.

Coun Bradley also ruled out any local government reforms similar to the authority’s previous, unsuccessful ‘super-council’ plans.

He said: “It’s great news and everything we have asked for in terms of our county deal priorities.

“We will be talking in the next few days about what we want to do. That’s not something I can decide and it needs to be a discussion among all partners.

“None of this involves a discussion about reform or unitary councils and there’s no wish to mix them up. I’ll be incredibly clear with district leaders about that as I know the strength of feeling.”

Read More

Read More
Mansfield man who set his bedroom on fire told police ‘I have done a stupid thin...

Nuts and bolts

Coun Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield Council and the Independent Alliance in County Hall, said: “The white paper doesn’t clearly define what levelling up means, nor what any devolution deal may mean.

“It asks us to start negotiations to claw more power from Whitehall, but doesn’t state what extra powers we will get.

“Devolution is just a word and nothing without the nuts and bolts.

“I’m not sure residents will welcome extra, pricey bureaucracy when the cost-of-living crisis is hitting them so hard.

People don’t tell me they want a mayor or governor of the whole of Nottinghamshire.”

The Nottinghamshire economic prosperity committee, which includes leaders from all nine councils, will now decide how the county will negotiate its deal and what it wants to achieve.

Its next meeting is on March 8.

A message from Jon Ball, your Chad Editor: Please support your Chad by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe.