DEVOLUTION offers opportunity at every Council level, Essex County Council Leader Cllr David Finch has said.
Speaking at a meeting of the Essex Association of Council Leaders, Cllr Finch spoke of the opportunity for decision making to be at a more appropriate level, shifting powers “from county hall to parish hall”.
Cllr Finch said: “The national agenda has focussed on the devolution of powers from Government down to regional areas, and we have seen all 15 county, district, city and unitary councils across Greater Essex commit to developing a bid.
“We are now working hard to develop these plans with central Government. But this should not be the end of the story.
“We need to look at the whole picture, and the opportunity devolution gives us to move powers away from county hall on to an even more local level.
“We know that with our local knowledge we can make better decisions on key principles than central Government. However, at the same time we should also explore where we can go further as ultimately local people know what is best for them.”
Following the meeting, Parish and Town Councils have been invited to put forward their suggestions for things that could be done better at a local level.
Cllr Finch added: “We already have good examples within Essex such as the Community Initiatives Fund which provides grants for local projects, and the Local Highways Panels which see Parish and Town councils involved in strategic highway decision making.
“But we can and should be going further. It is an opportunity to think boldly and broadly and nothing should be off the table.”
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