A bid to boost jobs, improve transport and take decisions in Leicester and Leicestershire has now been submitted to Government.
The move comes after the city, county and district councils - including Melton - all endorsed proposals to create a combined authority.
If the Government accepts the proposals and gives the go-ahead, the Leicester/Leicestershire combined authority could be in place late next year. The authority would guide key decisions on transport, planning, skills and other key issues affecting the area.
A combined authority would not replace individual councils and their current services, but would enable them to work more closely together on key issues.
Consultation on the proposals took place during the autumn. Of the 260 people who responded, 68 per cent backed the plans – 32 per cent (81 people) strongly agreeing and 36 per cent (93 people) tending to agree.
County Hall leader Nick Rushton said: “Our councils have united behind these proposals because we want to take decisions locally on the key issues facing our area.
“I’m hopeful for a positive response from ministers, paving the way for real devolution of powers to Leicester and Leicestershire. We will continue to work closely with our neighbours in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire.”
Charnwood Council leader David Slater, speaking on behalf of all seven district councils, said: “This marks the beginning of a new and exciting period for local government in Leicester and Leicestershire.
“A combined authority would allow us to build on our close working relationships as neighbours and work collectively for the benefit of our economic area.”
Nick Pulley, chairman of the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, said: “Businesses will welcome streamlined decision making on key issues such as skills and transport which, in turn, will help to support economic growth.”
If you have any questions about the proposals you can visit the FAQs page on www.llca.org.uk or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org