At heart I like the idea of having more local control over the services we use - so my natural inclination was to welcome the idea of devolution for Suffolk.

But the more I look at what we're being offered, the less I see - in fact it's starting to look more and more like the biggest damp squib we've seen in these parts since Paul Hurst launched Ipswich Town's bid for promotion to the Premier League in 2018!

It's being touted by the government as a half a billion pound deal for the county - but that is being extremely economical with the truth.

It's a pledge by the current government (which probably only has another 18 months to serve) to put an extra £480m Suffolk's way over the next 30 years.

It might sound like a lot of money, but it equates to £16m a year. The county council's budget for this year is more than £700m.

The extra money is 2.2% of the county's budget - far, far less than the government has cut from its grants to Suffolk over the last 15 years.

The government might have tried to big it up, but the fact that they only sent one of their junior ministers up to sign the deal tells us a lot about how important they see it.

I'm sure Lee Rowley is a fine junior minister - but he's hardly got the stature of Michael Gove whom he substituted at the signing ceremony with county council leader Matthew Hicks last week.

And there are few real clues about what the deal will give us except some vague talk about putting the county council in charge of further education.

Then we have the question of having a directly-elected council leader. Perish the thought that anyone (even the Chancellor of the Exchequer) should call it a mayor - we'd hate anyone to get the idea there's any dynamism in Suffolk local politics, wouldn't we?

Apparently, the current thinking is that the first election for a council leader should be held in 2024, a year before the next county council elections. 

That seems bonkers. What happens if opposition parties get themselves organised and get a non-Conservative elected as leader in the dog days of the current government, and then the Tories win the most seats on the council a year later?

A non-Conservative council leader trying to organise a Conservative majority in the council chamber looks like the perfect recipe for four years of inertia to me!

There should really be a far better model of local government for the region.

Personally, I would like to see a directly-elected mayor with real executive powers - but not a Suffolk mayor, an East Anglian mayor covering the whole region from the Thames Estuary to the North Norfolk coast.

They could have real power over strategic assets including transport, energy production and business support. They could also be responsible for regional emergency services, including the police and fire service.

Under that you could have single-tier superdistrists, in Suffolk there could be three - East, West and Greater Ipswich - running all council services from social care to rubbish collection.

But I'm well aware that this is a pipedream. Councillors are a stroppy bunch when their jobs and allowances are being threatened and the government has more important things to worry about than going to war with them!

Ultimately all this talk about devolution leaves most people cold. If there are elections for a directly-elected leader or mayor or whatever we want to call it at the time, very few people will vote on the basis of who is the best person for the job.

They will see it as yet another non-scientific opinion poll where those who want to give the government a good kicking can and those who don't will stay at home and find something more important to do.

What does really annoy me about all this is how much has been spent on council officers' and civil servants' time in getting all these plans together?

How many carers could that have funded? How many places for SEND children could have been created? How many potholes could have been filled or roads resurfaced?

The problem with governments, both national and local, is that they always seem to be far keener on the process of managing services than the way they actually deliver them to the punter.