A BID to revive Lancashire devolution with an elected mayor was started yesterday when the leaders of the county’s three biggest councils met Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry.

Previous attempts to progress the proposal taking powers and cash from Whitehall foundered because of concerns from Burnley, Pendle and Ribble Valley councils about losing their identity.

They were concerned about implications of creating of a single all-purpose authority for East Lancashire or for the whole county.

The bosses of Blackburn with Darwen Cllr Mohammed Khan, Lancashire County Cllr Geoff Driver and Blackpool Cllr Simon Blackburn are seeking to breathe new life into the idea.

Mr Berry gave the green light to further talks, describing the meeting as ‘constructive’.

The three council leaders said it was ‘productive’.

Yesterday’s meeting at Westminster was set up after they wrote to Rossendale and Darwen MP Mr Berry.

They told him: “As leaders of the upper-tier local authorities across Lancashire, we are signalling our collective intent to enter into a collaborative dialogue to secure a ground-breaking and must-do devolution deal for Lancashire.

“We want to be the first in the queue to secure a new kind of combined authority and a devolution deal that matches our role as a shire county.

“We believe there is a faster more streamlined approach: the creation of an upper-tier combined authority with the two unitary authorities and Lancashire County Council working together and the county as convenor for its twelve districts.

“We also recognise the need to secure a single voice and strong, visible and accountable leadership across all of Lancashire and that a directly-elected mayor could bring.

“Essentially the core of the deal must be turning around the persistent and intractable long-term issues that continue to hold Lancashire back.”

The three leaders say a Lancashire deal can be secured ‘at pace’ and be a blueprint for shire county areas elsewhere.

Mr Berry said: “It was a positive and constructive meeting to discuss the opportunities devolution could bring to the great county of Lancashire. I look forward to progressing discussions over the coming weeks.”

A statement from the three council leaders said: “We had a very productive conversation.”