Plans to devolve power to new city-regions could help to bring new investment and jobs to Lancaster and Fleetwood.


The proposals, which would see spending power transferred from central government to city and county regions, will be rolled out by the Labour Party if it wins the next General Election.

Labour leader Ed Miliband is writing to the leaders of Lancaster City Council, Wyre Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, the University of Central Lancashire, Lancaster University, the University of Cumbria and the Lancashire Local Enterprise Partnership to outline the ambitious plans.

They will be asked to draw up joint plans to boost growth and private sector jobs in their regions and those that bring together proposals in the first nine months of the next Labour government will receive a devolution deal.

Cat Smith, Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood, said: “This idea is a win-win for people in Lancaster and Fleetwood.

“It will mean important decisions about things like jobs, the economy, housing and transport are made more locally and if elected I will fight hard to ensure North Lancashire gets a fairer share of investment.

“The long arm of central government has exercised control over decisions and investment for too long and while the Tory-led Coalition claims it is creating new private sector jobs, nearly 80 per cent of them have been in London.

“The divide between the North and South is growing under the Coalition and many people in Lancaster and Fleetwood are worse off - but decisive action like that proposed by Ed Miliband today would help to reverse this worrying trend.”

Under the plans more than £4 billion a year in central government spending would be devolved to city and county regions which cross existing council boundaries.

That is double the amount proposed by the Coalition, which scrapped Labour’s Regional Development Agencies.

The funding will help pay for new homes, transport infrastructure, as well as skills training and help for people looking for work.

A combined transport authority, similar to Transport for London, would be set up in each area to take control of some transport operations and manage fares and revenue.

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