County leader defends controversial proposal

Bill Mountford and Colin Noble- Simon Ward

Bill Mountford and Colin Noble- Simon Ward - Credit: Archant

The controversial idea of an elected mayor across East Anglia has been defended by a Suffolk Council Leader who says the individual could be a 'champion for business' in the area.

The proposed Norfolk and Suffolk devolution deal, published on June 17, would see an elected mayor for Norfolk and Suffolk and a combined authority – meaning councils join together to make collective decisions on matters affecting the combined authority area.

In order to hear the views of the local community, councils representatives have been visiting locations across the two counties encouraging businesses and people to offer their opinion.

On Thursday (August 11) leader of Suffolk County Council, Colin Noble, and Bill Mountford, UKIP councillor for Lowestoft South, visited the Britten Centre, Lowestoft.

Cllr Noble said: 'We have spoken to people across the board, each with different levels of knowledge on the subject of devolution and have been encouraging them to look online and to read the information available.

'The mayor of Norfolk and Suffolk would be the chair of a combination of authorities making the right decisions for the area. They would also be a champion for business in Norfolk and Suffolk ensuring the area is attractive to businesses, tourists and people to come to live and trade so that the area flourishes.'

Plans for an elected mayor for East Anglia and the devolution of Whitehall powers to the region have been endorsed by all of all of the councils in Suffolk, along with Norfolk County Council, Broadland District Council, the Borough Council of King's Lynn and West Norfolk, South Norfolk Council and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership have endorsed the deal- with the remaining councils in Norfolk opting not to go ahead with the proposal

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Consultation closing date is August 23 and for further information visit

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