High Peak councillors vote against Midlands devolution

Buxton Town Hall
Buxton Town Hall

High Peak councillors have voted to reopen discussions to develop long-term joint arrangements and alliances with Greater Manchester, rather than be tied to the North Midlands.

The North Midlands Devolution Deal was debated during a full council meeting last week, when councillors said they felt there were stronger links to Manchester than Nottingham.

Proposer, Councillor Tony Ashton, who represented the Sett Ward, requested officers seek to reopen discussions with the Greater Manchester City Region and other neighbouring authorities to develop long-term joint arrangements and alliances.

He said: “It is more appropriate to the economic and social geography of High Peak and the interests of its residents to build our relationship with Manchester rather than be tied to Nottingham who have little or no understanding of how different life is here than it is across the county border.”

Councils across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire are seeking to create a single Combined Authority for the region by March 2016 - featuring district, borough, city and county councils and an elected mayor who would be granted powers and resources currently held in London.

David Lomax, representing Whaley Bridge, said: “I always thought there would be no benefit to a combined authority, but I now think it would bring in more houses to the High Peak and strengthen business relations.”

This motion was carried, with 26 councillors voting in favour.