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District and borough councils to take forward discussions on East Midlands Combined Authority

Published Monday, 2nd March 2020

District and borough councils in Leicestershire will be taking forward discussions about creating an East Midlands Combined Authority.

All seven councils wrote to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government in January in support of devolution and to make clear their willingness to work with government on its forthcoming devolution framework.

The Secretary of State has now written back to the leaders of Blaby, Charnwood, Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Melton, North West Leicestershire and Oadby and Wigston councils.

In a joint statement, the leaders of all seven district and borough councils in Leicestershire, said: “We are pleased to receive a positive response from the Secretary of State about our views around devolution and closer collaboration and the opportunities they present to this region and its residents.

“The district and borough council leaders in Leicestershire will be now be taking forward discussions about an East Midlands Combined Authority with the leaders of councils from around the East Midlands.”

The Secretary of State has said in his letter that he recognises the district and borough councils’ ambition for an East Midlands Combined Authority and welcomes such an idea. He said it could involve all councils from Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire and could be led by an elected mayor if that was the local choice.

It was suggested to the Leicestershire borough and district council leaders that if they wished to take it forward, then they should enter into a discussion with other council leaders to develop a proposal that would provide a stable, efficient and accountable form of governance.

The letter was copied to all council leaders in the East Midlands and the chairs of the local enterprise partnerships.

The seven district and borough councils in Leicestershire recently formed two alliances to develop more collaborative working. The Southern Leicestershire Strategic Alliance comprises Harborough, Hinckley and Bosworth, Oadby and Wigston and Blaby councils, while the Northern Leicestershire Strategic Alliance will include Melton, Charnwood and North West Leicestershire councils.