Power over its Adult Education budget will be devolved to Suffolk, so it can shape provision in a way that best suits the needs of the local community. The county will receive immediate support to build new affordable homes on brownfield sites, as well as more capital funding to improve energy efficiency in houses.
The deal will also see Suffolk County Council handed control over a £480 million investment fund – this will be guaranteed for the next thirty years. This will enable the county to drive growth and plan for the long-term with certainty as it looks to level up and unlock its full economic potential.
Suffolk will also get a directly elected leader of the county council. This not only would provide a single person who is accountable to the people of Suffolk, but gives the county a local champion who can attract investment and be a stronger voice in discussions with central government.
The deal also sets out the government’s plans to devolve more power to Suffolk County Council through:
- Investment: It will bring decades of funding worth £480 million to improve the lives of Suffolk’s residents and spend on their local priorities.
- Housing: The deal will provide £5.8 million to regenerate brownfield land into beautiful, affordable homes and drive economic growth across the area; Suffolk will also receive greater compulsory purchase powers.
- Education: The agreement devolves the Adult Education Budget so they can shape provision in a way that best suits the needs of residents and the local Suffolk economy.
- Transport: An integrated transport settlement starting in 2024/25, to support the area to improve key transport infrastructure priorities.
- The Environment: The new deal will help Suffolk deliver on its ambitions to be the country’s greenest county with £3 million to improve energy efficiency in homes.
Cllr Matthew Hicks, Leader of Suffolk County Council, said:
“This devolution deal is the first of its kind between the Government and a county council, making it a truly historic moment for Suffolk. The deal recognises Suffolk’s ambitions, would put more powers in the hands of local people and bring more than half a billion pounds of investment into the county. On the table are greater decision-making powers around transport, infrastructure, skills and more resources to help us achieve our net zero ambitions. Ultimately, this significant additional investment will improve the lives and outcomes of Suffolk’s residents. Devolution is a journey, not a one-off event. This deal for Suffolk is the first step towards an exciting future for our great county. This is a ‘minded to’ decision and will be followed by a full public consultation where everyone will get their say.