By Cllr Greg Peck
You may be aware or have read in the press that Norfolk is on a shortlist of county councils that are in negotiations with the government to transfer more power and funding to their respective councils.
The former Norfolk County Council leader, Andrew Proctor, signed an “in-principle” deal in December 2022, which positioned Norfolk to gain additional powers and money to improve people’s lives.
The aim is for decisions and funding previously controlled in Westminster to be agreed in Norfolk, for Norfolk.
The deal will help to boost our economy through jobs, training, housing and development, to improve our transport network and to support our environment.
The current administration under new leader Kay Mason Billig is continuing to negotiate with the government to bring even more powers and funding to Norfolk and ensuring the new governance model, which includes a directly elected leader, is acceptable.
The public consultation on the in-principle deal took place in the spring and the results have been analysed.
All county councillors will be asked at the full council meeting in December whether they support the move to an elected leader and cabinet system of governance.
Should the result be in favour, in spring 2024 parliament will decide whether to approve the “statutory instrument” required to let the deal proceed.
Western Link progress
Contrary to press reports, work on the Western Link is continuing. However, future spending has been paused until the funding has been approved by the government.
The county council has submitted its business case to the Department for Transport, which has approved the scheme and passed it to the treasury for sign-off.
The treasury has several schemes under consideration and these have to be prioritised. We are led to believe that ours has one of the best business cases, so we are hopeful that we will be selected to obtain funding very soon.
Failure to deliver this road will, in my opinion, be a disaster for my constituents, especially those living close to the route, who are suffering from rat-running and pollution from backed-up traffic through their villages.
I hope we will shortly hear that we have been successful in obtaining the funding we need.
Cllr Greg Peck, Norfolk County Council, Reepham Division
Tel: 07972 230282