There are endless legal complications around combined authorities between counties, districts and unitaries, especially when it comes to development plans and SDS.
The reports that the forthcoming devolution white paper requires unitaries and an elected mayor for a growth deal is wise. It was clear something was going on when work on growth deals halted earlier this year. Its pretty obvious what was going on. The near status and confusion of decision making where you had a separation between a combined authority, counties and elected mayors, most dramatically by the farce of James Palmer in Cambridgeshire opposing every king of interim transit solution but without having the balls to propose any kind of alternative for fear of a vocal minority bus hating pseudo-eco Nimbys opposing it – arrgh buses they are so ugly even though they replace 20 far uglier cars.
Thank you James – your legacy is abolition of the structures you so mishandled.