Leaders of local councils are at the front of the queue for the devolution of more key powers from central Government after ground-breaking plans have been submitted.
The nine Nottinghamshire councils, including the city, have worked closer than ever before to come up with plans for a new Combined Authority, called N2, that would be able to take key decisions around transport, growth and jobs.
Along with the plans for the neighbouring Derbyshire Combined Authority, D2, these will be the first Combined Authority plans in the country outside of the metropolitan authorities.
A Combined Authority would be able to take more strategic decisions on areas such as transport, economic development and regeneration. Most other Core Cities already have Combined Authorities or are working towards them. In Nottinghamshire, the Combined Authority will cover the ‘N2’ area and involves the City, County and all seven district Borough Councils.
The nine existing N2 local authorities may choose to grant the Combined Authority some of their own powers and central Government may choose to devolve powers through the recently announced Devolution Deal process.
Any costs will be met from existing budgets. The Combined Authority means the nine existing N2 Local Authorities will be making decisions together rather than separately – improving the effectiveness and efficiency of decision making.
All nine Leaders of the existing local authorities will make decisions jointly, with each Leader having one vote. Once established, the Combined Authority may choose to invite other non-voting members to sit on its Board and these may include representatives of the business and third sectors. D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership have supported and encouraged N2’s proposals.
Work on N2 will continue during 2015 and progress depends in part on the Parliamentary process. N2 could be formally established as early as December 2015.