Plans for nine Staffordshire local authorities to work together more closely on job creation, skills training, climate change and other key issues are a step closer.
Next week Staffordshire County Council will formally consider entering the partnership with the county’s eight Borough and District Councils.
Known as the Staffordshire Leaders Board, once agreed the partnership will look to make a difference both inside and outside the county.
Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “The County Council and Staffordshire’s eight district and borough authorities already work together in so many ways to benefit residents, whether it is collaborating to provide support during the pandemic, or, for one example, by laying the foundations for business parks to bring new jobs to an area.
“Formally coming together now to create the Staffordshire Leaders Board will allow us to build on these strengths by focusing on joint approaches to the big issues that affect us, including the economy, public health and reducing carbon emissions.
“It also creates an official structure by which Staffordshire’s democratic organisations can speak jointly to central Government on how we can deliver better health and prosperity to the county.”
The Board intends closer cooperation on a range of subjects including job creation, reducing public health inequalities, improving waste collection and recycling, and addressing climate change.
Alan White added: “Closer working across our authorities can make a significant difference: for example although the county council has a responsibility for public health, district and borough authorities are responsible for the provision of housing, parks and leisure, which all have a role to play.”
The Staffordshire Leaders Board will also be the foundation for pursuing a County Deal with Government under the latter’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.
Alan White said: “Although we consistently invest in the future of Staffordshire’s economy, a County Deal and the accompanying additional funding would accelerate our work and, hopefully, be the beginning of a long-term conversation rather than a one-off investment.”
The nine authorities involved in the Staffordshire Leaders Board are: Cannock Chase District Council; East Staffordshire Borough Council; Lichfield District Council; Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council; South Staffordshire Council; Stafford Borough Council; Staffordshire County Council; Staffordshire Moorlands District Council; and Tamworth Borough Council.