Leader of the Council – Devolution Cabinet Member – Minutes – 30 June 2016

The council’s Cabinet received the Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Expression of Interest document at its meeting on 28 September 2015.  It endorsed the proposal and noted the future work involved.

Council received the Greater Lincolnshire Devolution Interim Governance proposal and the then latest version of the deal document at its meeting held on 10 November 2015.  Council agreed the recommendations detailed on page 5 of the devolution document which had been submitted to that meeting, details of the recommendations were set out in the report.

Further discussions and extensive work had culminated in the Devolution Agreement being signed by the ten Greater Lincolnshire Council Leaders and Government Ministers. This was formally announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the budget on 16 March 2016.

There were clear statutory processes that needed to be followed in accordance with the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 as amended by the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 to establish a Mayoral Combined Authority and devolve appropriate powers from central government for May 2017. The Greater Lincolnshire deal was one of the first to be progressed under this legislation.

All the councils involved needed to undertake a governance review, publish a scheme as to how a Mayoral Combined Authority would work and undertake a public consultation on the scheme.  They must provide a summary of the consultation of responses to the Secretary of State.

The primary purpose of a governance review was to set out the rationale for creating a Greater Lincolnshire geographic economic footprint and to propose options for governance.  On the basis of the governance review the council must conclude whether or not it considered that a combined authority would lead to the improved exercise of statutory functions in the Greater Lincolnshire area.

If the council concluded that a combined authority would lead to the improved exercise of statutory functions in the Greater Lincolnshire area it may publish a scheme for the establishment of a combined authority.  The governance review, the scheme and the consultation on the scheme would be provided to the Secretary of State to enable him to decide whether the statutory tests on improving the exercise of functions were met and whether it was appropriate to make an Order (if parliament approved) establishing the Mayoral Combined Authority.  Before making such an order, consent needed to be sought from the constituent councils.

The governance review concluded that the establishment of a Mayoral Combined Authority would lead to improved exercise of statutory functions in the Greater Lincolnshire area with specific reference to economic conditions in the area.

Resolved – (a) That the contents of the governance review for Greater Lincolnshire, attached at Appendix A to the report, be noted; (b) that on the basis of the governance review, the proposal to establish a Mayoral Combined Authority for the Greater Lincolnshire area would improve the exercise of statutory functions in that area, be approved; (c) that the preparation and publication of a scheme for the establishment of a Mayoral Combined Authority for the Greater Lincolnshire area under Section 109 of the Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 be approved; (d) that the publication of the draft scheme for a Greater Lincolnshire Mayoral Combined Authority as attached at Appendix B to the report for consultation purposes, be approved in principle and (e) that authority to approve the making of changes to the draft scheme prior to commencement of the formal consultation exercise and to submit the outcome of the consultation exercise to the Secretary of State, be delegated to the Chief Executive, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.