Fylde Tories doubt over county plans

St Annes Town Hall
St Annes Town Hall
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Fylde Council could be the second local authority to pull out of proposals to create a Lancashire wide combined authority.

The council’s ruling Conservative group has said it is ‘unconvinced’ about the benefits of the proposals for all 15 authorities to work more closely together.

Fylde Council leader Coun Susan Fazackerley said: “Our MP and other Lancashire Conservatives have shared their views with the Conservative Group and, as further details emerge, the leading group is unconvinced regarding the benefits for Fylde of progressing with membership of the Lancashire Combined Authority.”

Wyre Council has already declined to join the shadow combined authority, whose chairman is Blackpool Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn.

Fylde is currently a member of the Shadow Lancashire Combined Authority but will consider a further report on whether to join the formal Lancashire Combined Authority in coming months.

Coun Fazackerley added: “However, Fylde has always looked to work in partnership with neighbouring authorities, particularly on economic growth, transport and infrastructure that have a regional impact and we will continue to do so, regardless of whether we become a member of a combined authority or not.

“The final decision, of course, will be made by full council.”

Coun Blackburn declined to comment but said the Shadow Combined Authority was set to give an update on Friday.

Wyre Council leader Coun Peter Gibson said he welcomed Fylde Council’s change of view.

He said: “I always said that other authorities would come on board with Wyre.

“Another council has said that they would look at associate status which doesn’t give a vote or influence.

“I understand the devolution part of a combined authority has been shelved so that effectively means a CA is dead.”

Read more here about the combined authority