Hyndburn Council has rejected the latest devolution deal for Lancashire.

Borough acting-deputy leader Cllr Steven Smithson had asked the authority's full meeting on Thursday to back the scheme.

But it voted by 17 to 11 - with two abstentions - to reject it.

Under the 'Level Two' deal struck by the area’s three top-tier local authorities – Lancashire County Council, Blackpool Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council – would if confirmed, will see Lancashire handed a range of powers that it does not currently have at its disposal by the creation of a new combined authority.

The new powers would include improving public transport, boosting economic prosperity, and improving employment and skills.

The deal does not include creating a directly elected mayor for the county as in Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

Lancashire Telegraph: Cllr Munsif Dad - LabourCllr Munsif Dad - Labour

If approved the Lancashire Combined County Authority (LCCA) would receive more than £20 million in extra government cash and be in operation by 2025.

Thursday night's vote in Accrington Town Hall was part of a consultation process that runs until January 26.

Cllr Munsif Dad, leader of Hyndburn Council's opposition Labour group, told the meeting: "Although it is a step forward, it must be considered as an opportunity missed and will create an even bigger gap in service provision, economic opportunities and democratic accountability with neighbouring authorities.

"The £20m capital investment is derisory and is primarily aimed at a Lancashire County Council asset at Samlesbury, Blackburn town centre and the Blackpool economic zones.

"There is no money for Hyndburn or its residents and it does not touch most of Lancashire.

"The agreement was carried out behind closed doors and rushed through for political reasons.

"Only a directly elected mayor would have provided true accountability and a balanced decision making process across the LCCA area."

Cllr Smithson's report to the meeting said: "That council supports the draft proposal for the creation of a Lancashire Combined County Authority (LCCA) for the administrative areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Blackpool and Lancashire.

"Securing a devolution deal has been a long-standing ambition for Leaders across Lancashire to address years of historically low investment in the area whilst providing a platform for accelerated growth."

Hyndburn Council's acting leader Cllr Peter Britcliffe said after the meeting: "We are where we are.

"Hyndburn Council is now opposed to the devolution deal.

"But this exposed divisions in Labour as Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool - where the party is in control - and Labour county councillors support it."