Staffordshire Councils agree collaboration programme and County Deal proposals
Nine Staffordshire councils have pledged to work closer together and pursue a County Deal with Government under its ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.
Staffordshire council leaders are pledging to work closer than ever on the economy, skills and training, climate change and improved public services, building on their effective joint working to help residents and businesses through the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are drawing up ambitious plans to create more jobs and opportunities for Staffordshire people, improve public health, and tackle the challenges of waste and recycling. These plans could be delivered faster with extra funding and support available through a County Deal, say the councils.
Councillor Doug Pullen, Leader of Lichfield District Council, said:
“Working jointly with Staffordshire County Council, as well as other District councils around us, is second nature to us in Lichfield, so I'm really excited about the next logical step - putting this collaborative working on a more formal footing.
“With clear objectives around the things that matter the most to us - health, skills, transport, the economy and climate Change, we can deepen our relationship with other local authorities, improve outcomes right across our county, and in doing so demonstrate to Whitehall that locally elected leaders, working together, are the real catalyst required to "level-up".”
Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:
“Whether standing shoulder to shoulder to protect the vulnerable through the pandemic, or moving the earth to create new business parks ready for investment, we deliver best when we work together.
“Collaboration is at the heart of all we do best in Staffordshire, and thanks to strong local leadership, we have a track record to prove it.
“This agreement builds on our strengths and offers the Government the perfect platform here, in the nationally valued centre of the country, to pursue its levelling up agenda.
“Come what may, Staffordshire councils will continue to work hand in glove. But a County Deal and additional investment in Staffordshire would help us put our foot to the floor and accelerate the positive changes we can make for the 850,000 people we serve.”
A Joint Leaders Board is to be created to oversee the delivery of an agreed set of priorities, and the development of a County Deal for Staffordshire. This Board will further strengthen the strong, local democratic leadership in the county.
Discussions are now underway with Government Ministers and civil servants on a series of proposals.