Deadline looms for Norfolk’s devolution deal bid

Norfolk County Council's headquarters in Martineau Lane. Pic: Mike Page.

Norfolk County Council's headquarters in Martineau Lane. Pic: Mike Page. - Credit: Archant

Finishing touches are being made to a submission for a Norfolk devolution deal, with an 'expression of interest' to be lodged with the government by the end of the week.

The Cities and Local Government Devolution Bill is making its way through Parliament – a bill which would see the government devolve more powers to local authorities.

In his July Budget speech, chancellor George Osborne indicated councils wishing to bid for 'significant' devolved powers would need to have an agreement before September 4 – this Friday.

The chief executives of Norfolk's eight councils and the chief constable commissioned external consultants from New Local Government Network to conduct preliminary research and propose options in response to the devolution agenda.

The report presented five options but the favoured approach, following talks with Norfolk's district council leaders, is to seek a deal which would involve Norfolk and Suffolk.

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The submission would propose clusters of districts working in partnership with the county councils to make savings in areas such as transport/infrastructure; health and social care; flooding; blue light services; planning and housing and economic development.

George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: 'The group leaders decided that the option of two counties was one which they all agreed with.

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'One or two asked about Cambridgeshire. If we are talking about road infrastructure, it might make sense to have them together, but Cambridgeshire is looking to join up with other areas.'

Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble had said his officers were drawing up a bid along county lines, but was open to working with Norfolk.

Do you have a story about a local council? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email

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