Devolution consultation events coming to BwD

Published Friday 15 December 2023 at 13:54

Consultation events are being planned for early 2024 in Blackburn with Darwen to give residents the chance to find out more about the proposed devolution deal for Lancashire.

An eight-week online consultation on the proposal to create a new Combined County Authority for Lancashire was launched earlier this month.

Two drop-in consultation events have been planned for January 2024 for anyone in Blackburn with Darwen to attend:

  • Monday 8 January – 1pm to 3pm in Darwen Youth Centre, Knott Street, Darwen
  • Monday 15 January – 1pm to 3pm in Blackburn Central Library, Town Hall Street, Blackburn

These complement the consultation events being arranged across the county by Lancashire County Council and Blackpool Council. 

Councillor Phil Riley, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said:

“These consultation events, plus the online consultation, are a chance for residents, businesses and anyone else in the region to find out more about our Lancashire devolution proposal and to have their say.

“Lancashire is losing ground to other economies in the North West and is now surrounded by combined authorities with devolution deals.

“There is a need for change – and devolution provides that opportunity for change and to make sure Lancashire businesses and economy grow, directly benefiting the people we serve.

“In my view, there is no plan B – other than to wait potentially years for another opportunity from another Government to come around, and continue to have decisions about important local issues being made in London. Change will not happen overnight, but we are on the journey now.

“I would urge our residents and business community to take part in the public consultation to make their views on the devolution proposal known.”

The two January consultation events are drop-in events, which means that residents do not have to attend for the full two hours. It’s not necessary to register in advance, just turn up on the day.

At the consultation events on 8 and 15 January, residents will have the opportunity to hear a presentation with more details on the devolution proposal and what this would mean for the whole of Lancashire, and for Blackburn with Darwen.

Residents will be able to give feedback on a number of important areas included in the proposal. These include improving public transport, boosting economic prosperity, and improving employment and skills. Views will also be sought on net zero and climate change, culture and tourism, and digital and cyber.

The Lancashire devolution proposal consultation runs until Friday 26 January.

Comments can be made online via the website.

If the devolution proposal is implemented, existing funding and powers will move from the Government in London to Lancashire.

The deal aims to give Lancashire a stronger voice on the regional and national stage, ensuring the county does not miss out on vital funding and other opportunities.

It would not require any changes to the established county, borough, or district councils across the area, who will continue to deliver services such as bin collections and local libraries.

It would also not require an elected mayor, as the CCA would be made up of existing elected councillors, or require an extra charge on council tax.

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