Norfolk County Council cabinet to consider ‘four clear options’ for pursuing devolution deal with Government
Norfolk County Council’s cabinet is set to consider which of four potential paths to take as a devolution deal edges ever closer.
Last December, the council and the Government signed an in-principle agreement to transfer key powers and funding to Norfolk – known as a level three county deal.
This includes a £20million per year investment fund, as well as powers and funding for transport, brownfield regeneration and skills. It is also likely to include a directly-elected leader being voted in by residents.
When members meet next Monday (December 4), they will decide which way to proceed with the deal.
Following public consultation earlier this year and further negotiations with the Government, four options will be considered by the cabinet:
- Proceeding with the current in-principle deal, which would see voting for a directly elected leader held in May 2024 – a year ahead of the county council elections.
- Proceeding with the current in-principle deal, but with voting taking place in May 2025, alongside the county council elections, after the Government agreed to allow this option to be considered.
- Going back to the Government and negotiating a level two deal, which would mean Norfolk would not receive the £20million per year investment fund and other funding and powers over transport and brownfield sites, but would have adult education funding devolved to the county
- Deciding not to proceed with a devolution deal.
Cllr Kay Mason Billig, the county council leader, said: “Over the last year, we have consulted the public and partners on the current deal and continued talks with the Government about potential further benefits.
“There are four clear choices. Cabinet will consider the potential benefits of each approach and then make a recommendation to full council.”
Cabinet meets at 10am next Monday to discuss the report. People can watch the meeting, live or afterwards, and read report at this link.
For an overview of the county deal, including an infographic and the full deal text, please see www.norfolk.gov.uk/norfolkcountydeal .
The county council says that if it agrees the in-principle deal, it will enable it to invest in areas such as transport, skills and job opportunities, housing and regeneration, tailored to the needs of local people.
A spokesperson says it would mean:
- Having a council leader who is directly elected by the public
- Targeting funding and resources to Norfolk’s own priorities
- Unlocking housing and employment sites
- Attracting and retaining key businesses