Norfolk County Council backs joint devolution plan

Norfolk County Council has given the go ahead to have a joint devolution plan with its neighbour Suffolk County Council.

The councillors voted by 34 votes to 28, with two abstentions, to endorse the plan which will continue with a public consultation on the proposals. The deal was developed jointly by Suffolk County Council, local enterprise partnerships and other local authorities. It follows a similar proposed agreement for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

The outcome of the consultation will be submitted to ministers in September, before a further council meeting in October to create the combined authority with a directly-elected mayor.

Councillor Cliff Jordan, Norfolk County Council leader, said: “I strongly believe the right course of action today was to endorse this deal and scheme of governance, so that we could submit it all to the people of Norfolk for consultation. I strongly believe the right course of action today was to endorse this deal and scheme of governance, so that we could submit it all to the people of Norfolk for consultation.

“The vote today was all about giving people a say on a fundamental change to our structure. And we have an equal duty to listen to what they say, and reflect that when we meet again in October.”

The joint deal includes combined transport budget of £225 million for the next four years, control of adult skills and apprenticeship grants and £100 million to build new homes across the two counties.