Residents asked their Views on Combined Authority PlanPublished Monday, 11 January 2016
Ribble Valley residents are being asked their views on a proposed Lancashire Combined Authority after councils agreed to go out to consultation on the matter.
Over the last few weeks, Lancashire’s 15 councils have been discussing proposals for a new way of working and all except one have agreed to ask the public what they think.
The proposed combined authority has been described as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring Lancashire together as a key part of the Northern Powerhouse.
Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: “We have been working on the proposals for a Lancashire Combined Authority for over 12 months and it is important we get the views of residents and businesses before deciding whether to submit a formal proposal to the Government.
“This proposal has unanimous cross-party support at Ribble Valley Borough Council and now we want to know what residents think.”
Councillor Alistair Bradley, who is chairman of the combined authority council leaders’ group, said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for authorities in Lancashire to work together, bring more investment and jobs to the area and make sure we don’t get left behind.
“It is a chance for us to take on powers from the Government and ensure we have a bigger influence on what happens in our proud county.”
Combined authorities give councils a stronger voice to influence the Government and draw down more powers, functions and funding to benefit the area and let locally elected people drive change.
A combined authority would not result in the creation of a ‘super council’ or local authorities merging.
Each council would still be responsible for the services it provides, such as refuse collection, street cleansing, culture and leisure.
Stuart Hirst added: “Some Ribble Valley residents might think this is just another layer of bureaucracy, but we have to change the way we do things and I believe a combined authority will bring enormous benefits.
“I am urging residents to get involved and tell us what they think, because the feedback we receive will have a bearing on whether we go ahead with this proposal.”
The survey runs until Friday 19 February and residents can take part at infusion.org.uk. Paper copies of the survey are available from Ribble Valley Borough Council on 01200 425111.