Norfolk leaders are seeking reassurances the county's new multi-million-pound devolution deal will be honoured by the Labour government.

Kay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County Council, has been joined by education chiefs and business bosses in urging the new government to make a fresh commitment to the county deal.

Kay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County CouncilKay Mason Billig, leader of Norfolk County Council (Image: Norfolk County Council)

That £600m deal - which would see a transfer of power from Whitehall to the county council and the public voting for a directly-elected Norfolk County Council leader - was offered by the previous Conservative government.

Mrs Mason Billig, leader of Tory-controlled County Hall, said she was optimistic Labour was committed to devolution.

But she is sending a letter, backed by leaders at universities, colleges and business groups, seeking confirmation the deal, agreed in principle in December 2022, can go ahead as planned.

Mrs Mason Billig said: "The mood music from both front benches during the last parliament was that devolution was the way forward, but naturally, a change in government brings some uncertainty and so we are keen to ensure that there is still commitment to the Norfolk deal. 

"I am writing to the new secretary of state, Angela Rayner, to ask her to give us confirmation that our deal can still go ahead on its current timeframe.

Angela RaynerAngela Rayner (Image: Press Association)

"I believe collaboration between partners is the way forward, if we are to bring prosperity to Norfolk and find solutions to the problems that face our population.

"This is something which crosses political and social divides and unites us all in a common purpose and we should not let this opportunity slip away."

Norfolk County Council's County Hall headquartersNorfolk County Council's County Hall headquarters (Image: Mike Page)

Norfolk's devolution deal includes an investment fund of £20m a year for 30 years, control of the £12m budget for adult education, and £7m to kickstart housing on brownfield sites.

Norfolk County Council will meet on July 23 to vote on whether to change its governance, so the public vote for the directly-elected leader can happen next May.

Prime minister Sir Keir Starmer and deputy Angela Rayner held a meeting with 11 metro mayors on Tuesday to emphasise the party's commitment to devolution.

Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner met metro mayors to talk about devolutionSir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner met metro mayors to talk about devolution (Image: Press Association)

Ms Rayner said: "Work will now continue at pace to deliver on manifesto commitments to transfer power out of Whitehall, and into our communities, with upcoming devolution legislation to take back control."