Derbyshire chiefs have agreed to receive £18million of Government funding to be shared between four East Midlands councils, as controversial combined authority plans move forward.
Derbyshire County Council (DCC) has agreed to be the ‘accountable body’ for funding to be spent on capital projects within the proposed East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA), which it will share with Nottinghamshire County Council, Derby City Council and Nottingham City Council.
The £18million would be spent upon housing and carbon zero projects across the four constituent councils of the EMCCA, if approved.
The combined authority plans promise to bring an additional £1.14billion to the region over the next 30 years, but have proved unpopular with many local councillors who say the sum is insufficient to make up for the potential loss of direct control over the county, and the proposed appointment of an East Midlands mayor is an unnecessary expense.
A consultation was carried out with councils over winter, and the results will be made publicly available in March.
A DCC spokesperson said: “In terms of next steps, the four councils are expected to consider the results of the consultation in council meetings in March.
“If all four councils vote to accept the results of the consultation and then move forward with the process, the final version of the devolution proposal would be sent to national government.
“Legislation to make the new form of combined county authority legal would then go through Parliament later this year, which would then need to be approved and receive Royal Assent.”
This could potentially happen early next year, which means the EMCCA could come into existence next spring, with the first ever election for a regional mayor taking place in May 2024.
The spokesperson concluded: “The timeline assumes that the stages before are completed, and decisions are made to progress to the next stage.
“It is not intended to predetermine the outcome of any council meetings, decisions for parliament, or Royal Assent.”
A proposed walking and cycling route in area area of heavy commercial development has been awarded £750k of Government funding. The cash means work can now start on the route around Markham Vale, which had already granted planning permission, but lacked the necessary funding to get it off the ground. A Derbyshire County Council (DCC) report into the matter stated: “During the later stages of negotiating the East Midlands devolution […]