Waveney councillors back devolution proposals for East Anglia

The Waveney District Council extraordinary full council meeting to discuss devolution in East Anglia

The Waveney District Council extraordinary full council meeting to discuss devolution in East Anglia. - Credit: Archant

'Getting decisions made here, closer to home - that's got to be the prize.'

That was the reaction from councillor Michael Ladd as Waveney backed a bid for powers to be devolved to an East Anglian authority.

Chief executive Stephen Baker told an extraordinary full council meeting of Waveney District Council there was a 'prospect of a new relationship with central government' by ensuring decisions are taken closer to home. He also said it would mean greater financial investment into the area.

'With power does come responsibility,' Mr Baker said. 'However who better to make those decisions than you.'

But several reservations across the political divide were expressed about the deal, particularly over Whitehall's insistence on an elected mayor.

However 37 councillors voted for the deal, with two voting against and two absentions, after council leader Colin Law made an impassioned plea for his colleagues to back devolution. Earlier in the meeting Labour councillors walked out after Mr Law said the final decision would only reflect the wishes of the Conservative group. They agreed to return when Mr Law said the decision would reflect the views of the full council.

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