TALKS are continuing over a potential Cheshire and Warrington devolution deal which would increase their power and unlock millions of pounds a year.

Warrington Borough Council’s Labour group voted for the town to team up with Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council in a deal – instead of the Liverpool City Region – in January 2017.

If arrangements are thrashed out, the move would see the Government delegate major powers to the three authorities.

It could deliver funds of at least £30 million a year for a decade, although it may have the potential to secure this amount of cash for close to 25 years.

Steven Broomhead, chief executive at Warrington Borough Council, says the three authorities are waiting for a Government white paper which would hold the key to devolution in the county.

“We are told this will be in the late summer, early autumn,” he said.

“The three councils in Cheshire continue to meet to consider a joined-up approach around devolution but we can’t do anything until we know what is in that white paper.

“It is about the money but the power is equally as important really.”

Mr Broomhead's comments follow the announcement that all 15 local authorities in Lancashire have agreed to form a combined authority with an elected mayor.

Although it depends on what is included in the white paper, it is expected that Cheshire and Warrington would need to have one elected mayor as part of a deal.

Neighbouring city regions in the north west currently use this model, with Andy Burnham as mayor of Greater Manchester, and Steve Rotherham as mayor of the Liverpool City Region.