Suffolk residents have until May 26 to have their say on proposals to change the way the county is run - and to get a cash bonus of £480m over 30 years, £16m a year.

The county would get new powers to spend money on adult education, and could get better deals to manage new transport projects and other schemes.

Voters would directly-elect a leader every four years who could be from the largest party on the authority, but could come from a different party or be independent.

In December 2022, Suffolk County Council and the Government signed an in-principle deal to transfer certain powers and funding from London to Suffolk.

Among the proposals for the new devolved council are:

Local control of the Adult Education Budget each year (worth £9.4m in 2025/26).

£5.8m one-off funding to prepare brownfield sites for development.

And multi-year transport funding plus an additional £500,000 over two years to finalise Suffolk’s Local Transport Plan.

East Anglian Daily Times: Suffolk County Council leader Matthew HicksSuffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks (Image: Suffolk County Council)

Suffolk County Council leader Matthew Hicks said: "This is an important and empowering decision about the future we want for Suffolk.

"A decision of this significance deserves considered input from the broadest range of people possible, which is why the consultation is open for 10 weeks.

"I urge everyone to take time to read the details of the deal and then complete to have their say in this consultation."

The results of the consultation will be analysed by the council during June and it is due to discuss whether to go ahead with the proposal at its full meeting in July.

If it is given the go ahead it will go to the government for final approval - and the first directly-elected leader will be chosen in the county council elections which are due to be held in May next year.