BREAKING NEWS: Breckland Council rejects Norfolk-Suffolk devolution plan
Breckland district councillors have this afternoon rejected a proposed devolution settlement for Norfolk and Suffolk.
Members voted 25 to eight, with four abstentions, against the plan to set up a combined authority for the two counties, under the leadership of a directly elected mayor.
Shortly after the vote was taken, council leader William Nunn said: “Whilst Breckland is keen to foster partnership working, any devolution to a combined authority has to be right for the residents and businesses of our district.
“The matter has been debated and discussed at length with members over the last few months.
“Whilst devolution clearly presents opportunities to steer major decisions at a more local level, members are not yet convinced of the benefits of the deal in its current form and the requirement for a mayor.
“The process would require an immediate public consultation whilst some key detail is not yet known.
“Members felt that it would be wrong to rush into an expensive and extensive consultation exercise without a full and clear picture of the facts.”
Mr Nunn added: “We will continue to take an active role in future discussions with the other councils.
“I am hopeful that in the future we can craft a deal that is right for Breckland and enables us to lead and influence the development of our district, county and region in a controlled and fair way.”
Breckland’s vote came little more than 24 hours after Norfolk County Council narrowly voted to back the programme, triggering a public consultation which is due to start next week.