LATEST: Public consultation launched on Norfolk-Suffolk devolution scheme

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A public consulation exercise on devolution proposals for Norfolk and Suffolk has been launched this afternoon.

People living in the two counties now have until August 23 to have their say on the plan to set up a new combined authority under the leadership of an elected mayor.

Andy Wood, independent chairman of the East Anglia Leaders Group, who negotiated the scheme with the government, said a short time ago: “With majority support across Norfolk and Suffolk it is right that communities now have the opportunity to have their say on devolution proposals for East Anglia.

“Norfolk and Suffolk has one of the best potential settlements in the country, offering £130m over five years for housing and £25m a year (for 30 years) to increase jobs, provide better infrastructure and drive growth in local businesses and the economy.

“I would encourage communities to give their views in the consultation so councils and the Secretary of State can take an informed view later in the year.”

Norfolk County Council leader Cliff Jordan added: “Politicians have been talking about devolution for long enough so now is a chance for the people of Norfolk to have their say.

“This devolution deal could lead to something bigger. There’s more funding for services at a time when there isn’t going to be much money coming out of Whitehall. It is now up to the public to decide whether they want a mayor for a combined authority.

“I want to hear from the people of Norfolk about how they feel about decisions being taken closer to home rather than in Whitehall, and what they think of the deal that’s on offer.”

People can have their say by visiting www.eastangliadevo.co.uk and completing either an online survey or a printed version.

Pollsters Ipsos-Mori will also be carrying out more than 3000 phone surveys across the two counties in what officials say is an effort to ensure councillors have “a representative sample of views.”