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County mulls switch to Leader and Cabinet model, claiming it will “strengthen case for devolved powers”

Nottinghamshire County Council is to debate plans to return to a leader and cabinet model, having operated a committee-style model since 2021.

The local authority said the potential switch was “in order to strengthen the case for devolved powers from central government”.

Nottinghamshire noted that the government’s Levelling Up white paper is due to be published in autumn in which it will outline how more powers can be given to local areas to make decisions locally that are currently made by central government.

“Under government terms for devolution deals, councils can only be considered for devolved powers if they operate a ‘strong and accountable’ leader and cabinet system,” the county said.

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Ben Bradley MP, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Devolution would mean more accountability but more control for Nottinghamshire over important areas of life. For example, it could help to deliver better bus services with joined up routes and ticketing.

“It could help steer adult skills and retraining towards the right sectors of industry, so people have a better chance to get good, well paid jobs. Devolution could mean a joined-up tourism strategy for Nottinghamshire to make the most of our historic assets and bring money into the local economy.”

Bradley added: “Crucially, devolution would also enable the county council and its partners to have a stronger voice to help unlock the investment opportunities in Nottinghamshire. It would be a first step to create a stronger and more accountable leadership that will not only give us the powers we need locally but will also create a simpler and more efficient decision making.”

Nottinghamshire County Council, Broxtowe Borough Council and Newark and Sherwood District Council are currently the only authorities in the county to still be operating a committee-style leadership system.

Newark and Sherwood has decided to move to a cabinet system by May 2022.

The only other upper tier council thought to operate a committee system is Cambridgeshire County Council.

If approved at a future council meeting, the changes are due to be implemented at the annual meeting in May 2022. 

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