Blackburn with Darwen Council has endorsed the devolution deal to bring new powers and cash to Lancashire.

Its leader Cllr Phil Riley had signed the historic agreement with his upper-tier authority counterparts at Lancashire County Council and Blackpool and levelling up minister Jacob Young at Lancashire's Shire Hall on Sunday.

But eight of Lancashire’s 12 district councils have written to the government asking them to rethink the blueprint claiming they had been locked out of the new Combined County Authority (CCA) that will oversee the newly-devolved powers.

The letter was signed by the leaders of the seven Labour-run districts in Lancashire, along with the former Labour leader of Burnley Council who now heads the recently-formed coalition in control of the borough.

On Thursday night Blackburn with Darwen Council's annual Policy Council unanimously voted to endorse the deal which will will bring an initial £20 million of government cash to Lancashire.

The move follows the county council and Blackpool similarly ratifying the agreement earlier in the week.

The CCA - which does not provide for an elected Mayor as in Greater Manchester and Liverpool City Region - is expected to be set up in 2024 to take over in 2025.

Under the 'Level Two' deal, Lancashire will get local control over the adult education budget, some additional transport and compulsory purchase order powers.

Cllr Riley told Thursday's meeting said: "The deal has not gone down fantastically well in some parts of Lancashire and mainly that is because the government insisted that this deal should be specifically for the three top-tier authorities and obviously that means that some of the districts feel very left out.

"It's a bit odd because effectively the relationship between the districts and the county council hasn't changed.

"What has changed with this deal is that some of the powers that are exercised and some of the money that is spent on Lancashire's behalf by civil servants in Westminster will in fact be devolved to the combined county authority.

"The view is, which I would certainly subscribe to, is that as a piece of progress that is sensible.

"There was no other deal on offer. This is the deal so if we didn't want this we were effectively saying to the government we didn't want a devolution deal.

"Not in my opinion a smart this to do. "

The authority's Tory group leader Cllr John Slater, agreed, telling the meeting: "This deal for Blackburn with Darwen in fantastic. We will fully support it."

Hyndburn Council leader Cllr Marlene Haworth said: "I did not sign the letter as I do not agree with it. The devolution deal is what it is and we have to make the best of it."

Cllr Asjad Mahmood, leader of Pendle Council, said: “Although, I am a supporter of devolution and the passing of powers and money from Whitehall to local areas, I am disappointed with the devolution deal for Lancashire.

“With this being a Level 2 deal, it is not ambitious enough, there’s no new funding and there’s nothing in there for Pendle.

“To make a real difference in the borough, we want to see much greater devolution and the delivery of what we see as 'game changers' for the borough, such as extending the M65 and improving connections into Yorkshire as well as the reopening of the Colne to Skipton rail line.”

The leaders of Rossendale and Burnley Council were also approached for comment on why they oppose the deal.