Monday, April 15, 2024

New Mayor and East Midlands Combined County Authority given final go ahead

The last legal step to establish the East Midlands Combined County Authority (EMCCA) has been signed and made into law today (Wednesday 28 February).

Jacob Young MP, Levelling Up Minister, yesterday signed the regulations that allow for EMCCA to be created. It means that residents across the area will get to vote for the very-first East Midlands Mayor, with elections taking place on Thursday 2 May 2024.

The new combined county authority is all thanks to a devolution deal, which will see the region benefit from a £1.14bn investment package, spread over a 30-year period, alongside devolved powers around transport, housing, skills and adult education, economic development and net zero.

Cllr Barry Lewis, Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “The passing of this final piece of Government legislation is an historic milestone for Derbyshire and the wider region.

“It marks the moment when the East Midlands Combined County Authority comes into existence, bringing a £1.14bn devolution deal to our region to improve people’s lives through better housing, improved transport and new job opportunities.

“In many ways it’s only the beginning of this exciting journey and more benefits and funding are already starting to flow – such as the government’s announcement of £1.5 billion local transport funding for the new East Midlands Mayor.

“Year-on-year the new combined county authority will bring even more funding to our region through a strong, collective voice and a national platform.”

Cllr Baggy Shanker, Leader of Derby City Council, said: “The establishment of a combined county authority for our region is good news for the people of Derby. Devolution is bringing more powers and much-needed extra funding to a local level, replacing part of what we have lost due to austerity.

“I look forward to working with the combined county authority and our region’s first-ever Mayor to deliver transformational projects across the city of Derby and the wider region.”

Ben Bradley MP, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Whilst this is a really important step in the creation of the authority, what is more important are the very real benefits to the people of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire which will be realised as a result of the investment EMCCA will attract.

“Having a single body working directly with government will give the region a voice and profile it has never had before and will bring opportunities that will strengthen the East Midlands for future generations.”

Cllr David Mellen, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “This is an historic moment for the region, and I am proud to say we have delivered this deal for Nottingham and the millions who live across the whole devolution area.

“The extra funding coming to the area and the devolved powers will make a huge difference to the region, bringing in more investment in skills and jobs and housing. This is all about improving local people’s lives and creating new opportunities for our communities across the East Midlands.

“We are already working closely together to steer the development for the new combined county authority and we will continue to work closely to give us a stronger voice in the region and across the whole country.”

Plans for East Midlands devolution are similar to those already in place in other mayoral regions, like the West Midlands and Greater Manchester, and it is estimated that the region will unlock around £4bn of funding over the coming years.

The East Midlands devolution deal, agreed with Government ministers in 2022, will see Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Nottingham benefit from a £1.14 billion investment fund. All four councils approved the creation of EMCCA in December.

In October 2023, the Government announced around £1.5 billion in transport funding for the East Midlands Mayor.

Thanks to devolution plans, the East Midlands has also been invited to establish an ‘Investment Zone’, which will attract £160 million of support over ten years, with tax incentives for businesses that will help boost economic growth right across the region.

Government will continue to work with EMCCA and other partners to co-develop plans for the East Midlands Investment Zone – which will bring in hundreds of millions of pounds of private investment and create thousands of jobs – including priority development sites and specific interventions to drive cluster growth, ahead of final confirmation of the plans.

£18 million has already been awarded to the area during devolution negotiations, which is being spent on improving local housing, transport and skills provision.

Further investment for the region would also be provided through annual Whitehall budgets and spending reviews.

The inaugural election for Mayor of the East Midlands will take place on Thursday 2 May 2024.

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