Leaders claim devolution crunch talks were a step forward for plans

George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk county council Photo: Bill Smith

George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk county council Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2013

Norfolk and Suffolk leaders have said moves to win powers from Whitehall had taken a step forward in the wake of crunch talks.

Ministers and officials in London look set to be taken a two-county bid next month following the two-hour meeting of key local government figures in Ipswich, which was overseen by an independent 'facilitator'.

West Norfolk council leader Nick Daubney said the Norfolk and Suffolk councils did want to work together, but warned that there was a long way to go.

The pursuit of a deal for devolution, with a combined Norfolk and Suffolk authority taking on new powers, was been backed by county councillors this week.

There has been criticism, including from this newspaper, that the brakes should be put on in the dash for devolution, but County Hall officers and councillors said they could not afford to procrastinate

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George Nobbs, leader of Norfolk County Council said: 'This meeting is another important step along the way to gaining greater local control over a range of Government spending on our road and infrastructure delivery and supporting the region's economic growth. However any deal we may do with central government will need to be confirmed by each and every council in Norfolk and Suffolk.'

Jennie Jenkins, chairman of the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders' group said there were a series of discussions to reflect on where they had not things right and where they needed to be more ambitious.

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She said that they had come away feeling they had made another step forward for the communities they served.

Mark Pendlington, chairman of New Anglia LEP said: 'We are now refining the ambitious and compelling offer that demonstrates Norfolk and Suffolk at its best.'

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