PROPOSALS are being drawn up for a pan-Lancashire health and wellbeing board to set the strategic direction of health and social care in the county.

The plan had first been mooted earlier this decade but scrapped when the political control of Lancashire County Council changed hands from no overall control to Conservative in 2017.

Blackburn with Darwen Council director of public health, Dominic Harrison, said it was important to have a county-wide board to put the case forward for resources and investment.

He told a meeting of the council's health and wellbeing board: “The integrated care systems will increasingly be making decisions about allocation of resources and policies around investment.

"We need to have a view on that on a pan-Lancashire basis."

Mr Harrison said Chorley Council chief executive Gary Hall was drawing up the proposal ahead of a wider discussion.

He added: "We will bring it back here once options are identified."

Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group chief officer Julie Higgins said: "If we get a combined authority, having a pan-Lancashire board will be really helpful"

But executive member for children's services and education, Cllr Maureen Bateson, said she was concerned it would mean the borough could suffer.

She said: "I have got a lot of concerns around this and we are having similar discussions around safeguarding boards.

"The suggestion is that pan-Lancashire would be looking at strategic issues.

"Wellbeing is delivered quite differently in different areas and we need to be able to work and be responsible for the health and wellbeing of people in Blackburn with Darwen first and foremost.

"I would not divert any of my responsibilities to the executive member in Lancashire.

"I think we have got a big issues about how we deliver services locally."