Devolution needs female and young view

Candidates for the Norfolk County Council Elections May 2013 ENGANL00120130426152949
Candidates for the Norfolk County Council Elections May 2013 ENGANL00120130426152949

It comes as it has been suggested that the majority of responses so far have come from men, particularly over the age of 55.

West Norfolk Council leader Brian Long said: “Devolution represents a big change to the way some key decisions will be made and puts more power in the hands of local people.

“It is really important that we get the views of our residents on what could be a significant change for local government.”

Cllr Long added that the council is urging people to respond to the proposals online or by getting in touch via email or letter before the deadline on Tuesday, August 23.

He said: “As these proposals are for the next 30 years or so and affect the whole community, it is really important that women and younger people also take the time to have their say and time is running out.”

Devolution would mean the transfer of some decision-making powers and funding down from central government to a local area, with the idea being that decisions would be made close to where they have an effect.

People are being asked if they support the idea of a combined authority chaired by a mayor for Norfolk and Suffolk, how decisions should be taken and how a combined authority and mayor should be held to account for the decisions they take.

Andy Wood, independent chair of the East Anglia Leaders Group, said: “With majority support across Norfolk and Suffolk and complete support across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, it is right that communities now have the opportunity to have their say on devolution proposals for East Anglia.

“Norfolk and Suffolk has one of the best potential settlements in the country, offering £130m over five years for housing and £25m a year (for 30 years) to increase jobs, provide better infrastructure and drive growth in local businesses and the economy.”

The majority of councils across Norfolk and all in Suffolk, along with the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, supported the deal and have asked the public for their views.

Market research company Ipsos Mori will also be carrying out more than 3,000 phone surveys across the two counties to ensure decision makers have a representative sample of opinions.

To have your say and for more information, visit www.eastangliadevo.co.uk