Suffolk and Norfolk devolution deals to be signed today: CCN response

CCN Latest News, CCN News 2022 | 08 December 2022

Today the Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove MP will today sign devolution deals for Suffolk and Norfolk, which include devolved powers in building, regeneration and skills.

If approved locally, the deals will include bespoke investment pots for each council area as well as devolved powers over adult education, support to build new affordable homes on brownfield sites, and more capital funding for infrastructure projects.

Both devolution deals also contain a directly-elected leader.

It means that six out of the ten county authorities that begun negotiations with government this year on devolution deals have been agreed, pending local approval.

Below, the County Councils Network responds:

Cllr Martin Hill, County Councils Network Devolution Spokesperson, said:

“Today’s signing of devolution deals in Suffolk and Norfolk, pending local agreement, is another important step in the county devolution agenda and takes the total number of deals this year to five.

“These two agreements will be transformative for these two East of England counties – featuring substantial investment pots and devolving powers to local people, giving them more of a say on transport, skills, employment and the environment. The two local authorities have shown flexibility and pragmatism to adopt a directly-elected leader of the county council, which presents a fundamentally new and more suitable model for devolution in county areas. The County Councils Network will work with both local authorities to get these deals up and running.

“The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill becoming an Act is imperative to these devolution deals coming into existence. With the government compromising over planning reforms within the Bill, we urge county MPs to approve the legislation as soon as possible to enable these devolution deals and transfer powers from Whitehall into the hands of local people.

“Now that six of the initial ten county deal areas have agreed proposals with government, we must complete the remaining deals as soon as possible, whilst government should announce a second wave of negotiations. Counties across the country have prepared innovative proposals to help boost productivity at a time when the country needs economic growth and we urge the government to now turbocharge this agenda and agree deals with at least two-thirds of our member councils by the end of this Parliament.”