It is a step forward in the negotiations regarding Lancashire’s financial package as it has been placed in a tier 3 locked space.
Last week, meetings were held between district leaders and the government over how much Lancashire would receive as part of the deal to move into Tier 3.
Lancashire is seeking control of $ 50 million in unsustainable business support grants – previously disbursed by the government – to be distributed as appropriate by district councils.
It is understood that this money will be used to protect vulnerable and supportive businesses that are forced to close, such as non-food service hotels.
This morning (October 18), Jeff Driver, chairman of Lancashire County Council, revealed that “good deals” were being negotiated with the government following the recent rounds of early-morning meetings on Thursday and Friday.
The county councilor driver said there was no doubt Lancashire was going to tier 3.
“All we have to do is get the best package to help everyone by being on Tier 3, there is a risk at the last minute,” he told BBC Radio Lancashire.
He took a swipe at Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham, who said the North was not ready to be “canaries in a coal mine” of a three-tier lock.
The gown driver pointed to an agreement that was not universally accepted by leaders in Lancashire County, saying some of his colleagues were ‘playing political’ with the deal.
He said: “No we don’t [canary down the coal mine]. I have heard some comments, it’s a really sad but true truth, some people are trying to play politics in it – and I have to say that some of my colleagues in Lancashire are doing this.
“We were in meetings yesterday until 11pm last night and resumed meetings at 7.15am this morning.
“We have postponed the return of the officers to the government with the latest changes to the contract given to us, and now it’s probably happening as we speak.
“This is a good deal that has been negotiated with the government and I hope that playing politics as I say will not stop it at the last minute because the people who will be affected as a result are the people of Lancashire.
“I don’t think there is any doubt about going into Lancashire tier 3.
“All we have to do is get the best package to help everyone by being in Tier 3, a risk that should be avoided at the last minute.”
Lancashire leaders rejoined the government at 8.30am today.