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A message from Managing Director Emma Alexander 10 May 2024

10 May 2024

Last week was significant for democracy with Thursday 2 May seeing a range of elections taking place across the country for local government, police and crime commissioners and mayoral combined authorities.

For Derbyshire, it was a landmark day with the election of Claire Ward – the very first mayor of the newly established East Midlands Mayoral Combined County Authority (EMCCA). The election of the mayor was the final step in the full establishment of the combined county authority and marks the end of the two-year journey to bring devolution to Derbyshire and the rest of the East Midlands.

As many of you will be aware, EMCCA was created following a devolution deal with government in August 2022 and involves Nottinghamshire County Council, Derby City Council and Nottingham City Council and ourselves all working together to support the region as a whole.

In the East Midlands, that means a new guaranteed funding stream of £1.14 billion, or £38 million a year over the next 30 years, as well as an extra £16.8 million for new homes on brownfield land.

As a combined county authority, it also means having access to additional transport funding, including a specific allocation of £1.5 billion for transport investment, supported by capacity funding in the short-term.

Some decisions affecting our area that were previously made in London will now be made by EMCCA - including skills, training, transport and the regeneration of our villages, towns and cities.

It is important to know that the combined county authority is not a new council - we, together with each of the other 3 councils will still exist, carrying out the vast majority of our functions as before. Moving forwards, we will be directly involved in EMCCA with councillor representatives from each of the 4 councils working together with the new mayor to make decisions for the area as a whole.

Currently an interim officer team is working in EMCCA, but now the mayor has been elected a permanent chief executive and executive directors are being recruited and this will be followed by the recruitment to a range of other roles over coming months.

EMCCA as an organisation will start relatively small – it is anticipated that it will employ up to 100 people over the next 12 months – but it will be big in terms of reach and influence. The mayor will work to raise the national profile of the East Midlands and to draw in further investment and powers, as well as making important decisions about how existing funding and powers are utilised.

Together with colleagues, and the 3 other councils, I have been working closely with the interim EMCCA team to ensure that our priorities are understood across the region and that the investment strategy is shaped in a way which will benefit Derbyshire, as well as the region as a whole. As the year progresses and the mayor becomes established, I will continue that work and you will hear more about EMCCA and what it is doing and achieving. In the meantime, we can be proud that Derbyshire is the first county area, together with Nottinghamshire, to benefit from a mayoral combined county authority. As the work to create EMCCA concludes, we are at the start of a new chapter and our work now begins to ensure EMCCA makes a positive difference, now and in the future, for Derbyshire’s people and places.