The following statement has been issued by the Leader of Suffolk County Council, following confirmation in the Chancellor’s Autumn statement of a ‘County Deal’ for Suffolk.
Full details of the proposed deal will be published in the coming weeks.
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that the Government has committed to agreeing a truly historic deal for Suffolk – the first county deal of its kind in the country. This deal will be a significant step on our county’s journey towards devolution and more control over our future.
“If agreed, this provisional deal would deliver decades of significant additional investment into local priorities that will improve the lives and outcomes of Suffolk’s residents; secure greater decision-making powers around transport, infrastructure and skills; and give us the powers we need to achieve our net zero ambitions and create the Greenest County.
“The powers and funding on offer have changed since we made our initial bid in August 2021. The Government is actively progressing only the most ambitious devolution deals but, in return, is seeking greater changes to the way local government is led. Therefore, in exchange for the greatest freedoms and funding, we are now minded to pursue a model whereby the Leader of Suffolk County Council is directly elected by the people of Suffolk. This proposed change would not add any new levels of bureaucracy nor create any new offices.
“In keeping with Suffolk’s collaborative way of working, we have developed this deal in partnership with our district and borough colleagues, the Police and Crime Commissioner and our MPs. It will now be taken forward to public consultation with Suffolk’s communities and businesses.”