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Council leader Ben Bradley ‘rules out’ tax rise for Nottinghamshire as super authority decision looms

today4 July 2022 1

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The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council has ruled out the introduction of a council tax rise if a new super authority is created. Concerns were raised for Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Derby and Derbyshire residents who could see their tax bills increased through the creation of a new super authority with a mayor across the four areas.

A bid to Government has been submitted to give local leaders more powers and, in turn, more cash for the region. There are hopes securing this devolution deal, whereby power is passed down from central government to local government, will bring the region into the ‘Premier League’.

The joint bid for an East Midlands Mayoral Combined Authority was submitted on Friday, March 25, and would see a super authority created for Nottingham, Derby and the two wider counties. If approved the East Midlands Mayoral Combined Authority (East Midlands MCA) would be the third largest in England overseeing 2.2 million people.

READ MORE: Life in the shadow of one of the ‘worst’ roads in Nottingham that gets ‘really, really busy’

However similar in that to Greater Manchester and Liverpool, some level of concern was raised over the introduction of a mayoral precept on council tax bills, which goes towards paying for mayoral functions. The Independent Alliance opposition group have therefore put forward a motion to the county council calling for opposition to any introduction of a mayoral precept.

In Greater Manchester, the average mayoral precept for Labour’s Andy Burnham is £102.50 a year. Steve Rotheram, who is metro mayor of the Liverpool City Region, costs £19 per year, or 32p per week, for Band D residents.

Asked whether he could rule out a tax rise for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire residents Ben Bradley, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Conservative MP for Mansfield, told Nottinghamshire Live: “I will.”

He said: “The Ashfield Independents have raised this question for full council about a mayoral precept which is frustrating because I have said before that I had no interest in doing that and they know that, so we keep going round that loop.

“Most devolution deals that exist have the ability to raise a mayoral precept and out of all of those deals, nine deals, only two do, both Labour authorities I should say, Greater Manchester and Liverpool. I have no wishes to do that and I don’t think any of the other authorities involved wish to do that and it will be very difficult even for a mayor to come in and do that without the support of those authorities, particularly upper-tier authorities in the cabinet.

“I don’t see it happening. I am dead against it. In reality next to no places that have this actually use this.”

A mayor for the two areas would be needed to secure most new powers for local leaders. It has been argued it could secure millions or billions of pounds worth of investment, similar in that to the West Midlands with mayor Andy Street.

While Mr Bradley ruled out the mayoral precept it remains a part of the bid to Government. Asked why then it was in the bid Mr Bradley added: “It is on the table in terms of negotiation because everywhere else has that power and the Government has that expectation. That’s why it is in the deal.

“Not because we have asked for it or want to use it but because it is part of the package that comes with devolution.”

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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