Following weeks of negotiation between the Government, local councils and LEPs, a deal worth over one billion pounds for East Anglia has been announced.
As part of the deal, announced on 16 March by George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, East Anglia would receive:
The deal, which sets out a fundamentally different relationship between Government and local public services, was negotiated by leaders from councils across Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and the New Anglia and Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP.
If ratified by the relevant councils and LEP boards, the deal would see decisions currently being made by the Government on infrastructure, growth, employment and skills being made in East Anglia in the future.
Cllr Jennie Jenkins, Chair of Suffolk Public Sector Leaders Group said:
"The deal reflects the fact that Suffolk and the rest of East Anglia delivers some significant economic benefits to UK PLC and beyond through agriculture, on and offshore energy and research and innovation in science and technology.
However, it is important to be clear that what has been published today isn't a 'done deal'. It requires ratification by each of the local councils and the LEP Boards.
We will also be carrying out extensive engagement over the coming months with local communities and businesses across Suffolk with feedback being used to inform the paper that councils will consider in the summer."
The deal requires the creation of a Combined Authority and directly elected Mayor and it is proposed that the first mayoral elections would be in May 2017 alongside county council elections.
The directly elected Mayor would act as Chair to the East Anglia Combined Authority and would exercise the following powers and functions devolved from Government:
The new East Anglia Combined Authority, working with the Mayor, would receive the following powers:
Further negotiation and clarification on the specifics of the deal will continue over the months ahead before being debated by each of the councils at full council meetings in the summer. Ahead of these meetings there will be extensive engagement with communities and businesses.
This is the first deal for East Anglia but, as has happened elsewhere in the country, the local authorities and LEPs are keen to negotiate further deals over the coming months and years.
The deal document can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/east-anglia-devolution-deal