Tuesday 23 April 2024
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East Midlands devolved council to be created this week

The new East Midlands council which will cover Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire will be officially created by Wednesday as the area prepares to elect a new regional mayor.

The authority is the result of a £1.14 bn devolution deal with the Government which will move significant powers from Westminster to an elected leader for the two counties, and could unlock significant investment for the region.

Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Derbyshire County Council and Derby City Council have all backed the deal, with legislation approved in 2023 after years of discussions.

The newly-formed body will be run by a board of leading political and managerial figures until the East Midlands Mayor is elected on May 2.

Wednesday’s milestone means it will be able to start hiring and making decisions in preparation.

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The board is expected to officially meet for the first time on March 20, having functioned as a ‘shadow board’ previously, with meetings ramping up towards the election.

The creation of the authority requires a legal power known as a Statutory Instrument to be passed and for Michael Gove, the Minister of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, to sign it off.

After the new authority is created, the existing councils will continue to function, with the new mayor given greater powers on planning, housing, roads, infrastructure and economic development from the government.

The board currently includes the leaders, deputy leaders and chief executives of the four member councils.

Several district council leaders also sit on it, including Councillors Milan Radulovic (Lab – Broxtowe), Paul Peacock (Lab – Newark & Sherwood), Anthony McKeown (Lab – High Peak) and Tricia Gilby (Lab – Chesterfield).

David Williams, the chair of law firm Geldards LLP, was also appointed recently as a business representative.

The devolution deal guarantees £38m per year for the next 30 years, and the government have promised an additional £1.5bn in transport funding.

The candidates for the mayoral election currently include Nottinghamshire County Council leader Councillor Ben Bradley (Con), former MP Clare Ward (Lab), Councillor Matt Relf (Ind), Frank Adlington-Stringer (Green) and Derby mayor Councillor Alan Graves (Reform).

A vote to choose a Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire will also be held alongside the May 2 mayoral poll.

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