The leader of Northamptonshire County Council says forming a ground-breaking alliance with two other counties would bring billions of pounds worth of investment and create thousands of new jobs in the area.
Northamptonshire, along with Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire are going to put a joint devolution bid to the Government this summer.
Whilst keen to stress this would not merge the council councils, they would work together on key issues.
The county council says the alliance would ‘swell’ economic growth by a further £9 billion, creating at least 135,000 new jobs by 2020.
"This area has an economy larger than that of Greater Manchester and we'd like similar devolved powers, over transport and strategic planning in particular.... As the name suggests, England's Economic Heartland is one of the powerhouses of the UK economy but we believe we can further build on our competitiveness in global markets with this innovative new model, and help ensure the UK is an even more prosperous major economy.
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People can start applying for more than 500 jobs at Birmingham's new John Lewis store from tomorrow, which is due to open in September.
The development is a major part of the ongoing renovation of New Street Station.
It is due to be one of the largest department stores outside of London.
Plans to close a distribution centre in the West Midlands and move work 90 miles away in the East Midlands has been described as "devastating" news for workers, sparking fears of job losses.
Carphone Warehouse is planning to close its site at Wednesbury, where mobile phone handsets are reconditioned, and switch the work to Newark.
The Communication Workers Union said it was "unrealistic" for poorly-paid workers to move so far away, with "uncertain" support from the company.
Should our proposals go ahead, every single person will be offered a role in the new operation and to help our colleagues, we are offering considerable assistance to relocate or commute. Where colleagues feel unable to move, we are proposing significantly enhanced redundancy packages and redeployment support. We value the wealth of knowledge and experience in our colleagues and will be working very closely with everyone affected over the coming months to support them as we enter into consultations.”