Dan Peters 21 September 2023

Bentley insists level two devolution 'best option' for county

Bentley insists level two devolution best option for county image
Image: Wirestock Creators / shutterstock.com

Essex CC’s Conservative leader Kevin Bentley has insisted that a level two devolution deal is the ‘best option’ for the county.

The county council, Southend-on-Sea City Council and Thurrock BC have agreed to work towards agreeing a level two devolution deal in time for the Government’s Autumn Statement in November and creating a Greater Essex combined authority without a directly-elected mayor.

Southend-on-Sea’s Conservative leader Tony Cox said his council had ‘not been keen’ on a level three deal as it would have brought a directly-elected mayor and extra council tax precept.

Cllr Bentley claimed the county had been ‘working equally’ on both a level two and level three deal but had decided the former was the ‘best option in the timeframe’ as it wanted to secure an agreement before the General Election.

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