Devolution and Recovery Options with WCC

Warwickshire County Council (WCC) working in partnership with Warwickshire Association of Local Councils and Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action.

I am writing to invite you to attend a meeting with Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council and Cllr Heather Timms, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Heritage and Culture, on local government reform and devolution in Warwickshire. 

You will likely be aware that a Government White Paper is anticipated imminently on Devolution and Recovery, which is expected to offer the potential for Warwickshire to secure additional powers, resources and investment in return for reform of local government structures. The County Council has sought to ensure Warwickshire is in the best possible position by submitting a Strategic Case for Change to Ministers, with a view to seeking an invitation for all local councils in Warwickshire to submit one or more proposals for change. An update is available on the Council website. 

A key element of the strategic case is the concept of ‘double devolution’, which would encourage local social action and a focus on very local places by flexibly devolving powers, functions and resources, in a tailored way to Town and Parish Councils. It would provide the opportunity to extend the Town and Parish Council model to non-parished areas, and focus heavily on building community capacity, innovation and collaboration through the voluntary and community sectors. The details of this concept would need to be developed collaboratively with the Town and Parish Councils and voluntary and community sector, and Cllrs Seccombe and Timms will engage with you on the next steps in process. 

It is important to emphasise that no decisions about future structures have yet been taken, and any subsequent work will be shaped by engagement and conversation with residents and key stakeholders. To this end, Cllrs Seccombe and Timms will hold two on-line meetings with Town and Parish Councillors, and voluntary and community sector organisations in Warwickshire, to provide an update on the current position and next steps, including opportunities to engage and shape any future proposals for change in local government structures. They will also be happy to answer any questions. If colleagues could submit questions in advance, by sending them to sandracombellack@warwickshire.gov.uk, that would be a great help in making the best use of our time together, and make the discussions as useful as possible. 

Cllrs Seccombe and Timms will also take the opportunity of time with you, to update on a number of important initiatives the County Council is taking through its Covid Recovery Plan to progress its priority to harness the power of our communities to tackle inequality and social exclusion, and to tackle the climate change emergency. 

The dates of the meetings are Monday, 19th October 2020 (7.00pm to 9.00pm) & Tuesday, 20th October 2020 (10.00am to 11.30am). 

Bookings can be made via the following link: 

https://www.walc.org.uk/events/warwickshire/735-201019 

The meetings will take place via Zoom and will be limited to 85 participants. 
Places will be allocated on a “first come, first served” basis. If there is greater interest than the number of spaces available, then we will try to arrange additional meetings. 

Please book your place by Thursday, 15th October 2020

We hope you can join us for this important discussion. 

Regards, 
Rob Powell 

Strategic Director for Resources 
Warwickshire County Council

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