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  • Writer's pictureSam

Lancashire Devo Deal is Everywhere

Updated: May 7

Okay, so I understand that the County's devolution deal is a big deal, but seriously, it feels like I've been bombarded with presentations about it at every event for the past 8 weeks. For those who haven't been submerged in Lancashire networking or miraculously avoided it (lucky you!), let me break it down. The "deal" is basically a collaboration between the government and local authorities in Lancashire, including Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council, and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. They're banding together to form something called the Lancashire Combined County Authority (CCA).

This deal is supposed to give Lancashire more power and money to support local businesses and residents. Maybe they'll finally fill in some of those pesky potholes and mow the grass this summer #fingerscrossed. There's talk of £20 million for important local projects, but when you think about spreading that across Lancashire, Blackpool, and Blackburn with Darwen, it's not exactly a game-changer. I'm curious to know how they'll decide what qualifies as a "good" local project.

The big stuff we need, like improving transport infrastructure and better local and national connections, is going to cost a pretty penny. But hey, as everyone in the business community keeps saying, "you've got to start somewhere!"

The Lancashire CCA will also be in charge of services like adult education, which personally, I think is a big deal. Seriously, I wasn't kidding about the terrible roads earlier, they're a nightmare. And while I can't speak to adult education firsthand, it's hard to ignore the fact that getting an NHS dentist in Lancashire is like finding a needle in a haystack these days. Having no teeth is a bigger barrier to work than lack of education in my book.

But before any of this can happen, the councils need to agree to it, and there's a bunch of legal hoops to jump through. That means making sure all the councils are on board and getting the green light from Parliament. Once all the paperwork is sorted, the deal will officially go through.

It seems like the business community is on board, however how well the general public have been kept in the loop enough to truly understand what's going on is another matter. As a Chorley resident/member of the "general public", I haven't actually heard a peep about the devolution deal. But as someone in the business community, it's been the main topic of conversation at pretty much every Lancashire event I've attended.

Curious to see how this plays out. Hopefully, we can all come together and make Lancashire a place to be, known nationally and internationally, attracting investment and improving everyone's quality of life. #againfingerscrossed

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