Public backs plan for new Lancashire authority

Representatives from all the Lancashire councils taking part in the consultation on proposals to create a combined authority

Representatives from all the Lancashire councils taking part in the consultation on proposals to create a combined authority

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Councillors across Lancashire will decide whether to press ahead with plans for a combined authority after support from the public.

The 14 authorities taking part in the process will take a report to councillors in coming weeks to seek approval to submit a bid to the Government.

Almost 2,000 residents and businesses took part in a public consultation, with the vast majority saying yes to the plans.

Coun Alistair Bradley, chairman of the Leaders’ Group on combined authority matters and leader of Chorley Council, said: “It’s really important people have taken time to give their views on the combined authority because it is a great opportunity for us to become a much bigger part of the Northern Powerhouse and I’d like to thank everyone who took part in the consultation.

“The early indications are that the vast majority of the public support the idea and we will be looking at all the detailed comments to see if they can be incorporated into the proposals for Lancashire.”

The councils will take reports to their meetings throughout March and April to decide if they want to submit a formal bid to the Government.

If approved, a bid could be submitted in May for consideration by the Government and a decision could be made as early as the summer.

Coun Ian Moran, leader of West Lancashire Council, said: “A Lancashire combined authority would give the local authorities a stronger voice on key issues that affect us all. It is good to see Lancashire people giving their backing to this proposal and along with the other district authorities we will be discussing the next steps in this process.”

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