Greater Lincolnshire will get a new mayor following the Chancellor’s statement last week, and it’s raising mixed reactions here in Lincoln.
Professor Neal Juster is the Chair of the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, he says: “The announcement of a multi-million-pound mayoral devolution agreement for Greater Lincolnshire is very welcome.”
“Devolution will bring a great opportunity to release even more potential from our vibrant towns and city, giving us greater influence and control over decision-making in vital areas of our economy, from creating jobs and boosting skills to supporting our businesses and building the homes that we so desperately need,” he said.
Alongside the new mayoral position comes a £24 million of additional funding for the next 30 years. But not everyone is quite as pleased. Liberal Democrat Councillor, Martin Christopher, said:
“Of course, Lincolnshire is a pretty resolute Conservative county. My first thoughts were that this was to be done on a ‘first-past-the-post’ voting system that heavily favours the Conservative party. It becomes a ‘jobs for the boys’ exercise.”
“It will really be whoever the Conservative party choose who ends up getting it, and to me that doesn’t feel very democratic,” he said.
The Lincoln Conservative Association was unavailable for comment, but speaking to Lincolnshire Live, the Conservative leader of Lincolnshire County Council, Cllr Martin Hill said that: “Devolution means we can invest funding into priority projects like improving transport links and regenerating areas that need it.”
The Chancellor’s autumn statement also included changes nationwide, such as an increase to the National Living Wage, and more funding for local housing.