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Boris Johnson urged to give Norfolk boost for roads and social care

PUBLISHED: 08:59 18 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:00 18 December 2019

Prime minister Boris Johnson. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Prime minister Boris Johnson. Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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Money to dual the A47 and build the Northern Distributor Road Western Link, more cash for adult social care and devolution without an elected mayor.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Neil PerryAndrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council. Pic: Neil Perry

Those are among requests Norfolk County Council leader Andrew Proctor outlined in a letter to prime minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Proctor, who leads the Conservative administration at County Hall has written to Mr Johnson following his party's general election success last week.

Mr Proctor wrote that he wanted to work with the prime minister to secure:

- Fairer funding for counties - to enable the county council to plan effectively and to have the "headroom to innovate and bring more value to communities"

- Sustainable funding for adult social care and for schools

- Infrastructure investment to help "form an eastern powerhouse", including money to dual the A47 and build the Norwich Western Link

- Levelling up the skills of adults in Norfolk

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- A new form of localism and devolution for county areas, to empower councils without the need for an elected mayor.

In 2016, when he was leader of Broadland District Council, Mr Proctor had been in favour of the devolution deal the government offered Norfolk and Suffolk.

That would have seen powers devolved to local councils, bringing in £750m of new funding for infrastructure and £130m for new homes.

But the government insisted the two counties must have an elected mayor - which led to Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Breckland and North Norfolk councils withdrawing.

Mr Proctor's call is for a new type of devolution, without the elected mayor.

He said: "The government has a clear mandate to deliver change and investment in public services.

"I want to work with the prime minister and his team to deliver this and to share our ideas for how, with the right support, local government can transform our communities and our economy."

During his election campaigning in Norwich, Mr Johnson was heckled by Marilyn Heath, who is angry that Norfolk County Council changes have affected her disabled daughter Sara's social care costs.

Mr Johnson then spoke to Mrs Heath, from Horstead.

She said Mr Johnson told her he would talk to the council about reversing the decision.

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